When I researched rice pudding, I found that it is made in nearly EVERY country in the world in some variety. I also discovered that a recipe can vary greatly between people in the same country. Rice pudding was one of my late father’s favorite dishes, and whenever I make it, I am reminded of my dad which makes it extra special for me.
Rice pudding is made from rice and is usually mixed with water or milk. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener. Rice pudding can be boiled or baked, and it can be thick like a pudding or thin like a drink.
Below is a list of the most common ingredients of rice pudding across the world:
- rice (all types- long-grain, short grain, basmati, jasmine, etc)
- milk (usually a thick milk such as whole, heavy cream or evaporated, etc)
- spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, etc)
- flavorings (orange blossom water, vanilla, almond, orange, lemon, etc)
- sweetener (sugar, honey, brown sugar, etc)
In the US, most rice pudding recipes are based on European immigrants; but more recently, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American recipes have become more popular. Below is my Mediterranean Rice Pudding version.
- 1 cup rice (long-grain)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- Toppings: powdered sugar, pistachios, coconut, raisins (optional)
1. Add rice, whole milk, water and sugar into a large saucepan. Boil for ~40 minutes on medium heat. Stir occasionally until rice is cooked.
2. Add cornstarch and orange blossom water. Cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes while stirring. (the cornstarch will help thicken the rice pudding; the orange blossom water gives it an authentic Mediterranean flavor!)
3. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Place into bowls. You can then select the toppings of your choice. I love pistachios, coconuts and cinnamon. You can serve warm and enjoy or you can refrigerate for at least one hour and serve cold
Makes 4 to 6 servings