To give two generous servings you will need:
- 1 and a half to 2 oz, 40 to 50 g, of short grain rice pudding rice, depending on how thick you like your pudding to be, that’s 2 to 3 level tbsps.
- 1 pint, 20 fluid ounces or 2 and 3-quarter measuring cups of full cream milk.
- 2 oz, 50 g, 2 level tbsps of granulated sugar.
- 2 or 3 oz, 50 to 60 g, 2 to 3 level tbsps of dried fruit, either sultanas or raisins.
- a small knob of butter.
- a pinch of nutmeg can be added if you like the flavour.
- you will also need a little butter or margarine to grease your dish.
- Heat the oven to cool, Gas Mark 2, 300 f, 150 c, 140 fan.
- Grease a medium sized, deep sided ovenproof casserole dish, that has handles.
- Rinse the rice in a sieve under the tap in cold water until clean. Most pudding rice is pre-packed these days and therefore very clean anyway, but just let the water run through it for about a minute to moisten it and wash out any extra starchiness or fine grain particles.
- Next, add the rice to the casserole dish.
- Add the sugar and sultanas or raisins.
- Pour in the milk and stir well.
- Drop in the small knob of butter, (about the size of a walnut).
- Sprinkle a small pinch of ground nutmeg over the top, if you are adding it.
- Carefully place the pudding, on a baking sheet for safety, into the centre of the pre-heated oven, and cook it slowly, for two to two and a half hours or until the pudding has thickened.
- Stir it a couple of times during the first hour to make sure that the rice is well combined with the milk and sugar, Removing the pudding from the oven carefully, though, as it will still be quite thin at this stage.
- Place it on to a worktop, locate the edge of the dish with one oven gloved hand and stir it gently.
- At the end of its 2 and a half hours, lift the dish out of the oven on to a heat resistant surface, locate the edge of the dish with one hand still wearing an oven glove, and with your other hand, gently touch the top surface, if it is set, with a skin on the top, the pudding will be cooked. Don’t worry, because if you don’t like the skin, simply stir the pudding while it’s still hot, and it will disappear without a trace!
Rice pudding can also be cooked on top of the stove in a large, saucepan on a very low simmer for about one and a half hours. You will need to keep the lid on and stir it a few times to combine the rice with the milk and prevent it sticking to the pan. Be sure to keep the heat very low though, so that the rice doesn’t absorb the milk too quickly, before it has had time to cook through properly.
Personally, I like the pudding cooked this way, it seems to have a different flavour, and it’s easier to monitor the thickness.
After the pudding has cooked and is being served, add a dessert spoon of strawberry jam or preserve to each portion if you want to sweeten it.