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Old 04-04-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Rice Pudding - The Inconsistencies

Based on some recent comments I heard recently (not on DC), I was curious about rice pudding.

I took a few minutes to visit that interweb place and look up some rice pudding recipes. Apparently, no two recipes are alike. I don't mean in the flavorings or even the types of rice used. I'm talking about the bizarre variations in the amounts of the basic ingredients.

First, dairy. Usually milk, but sometimes in combination with cream. If you start with a set amount, let's say a quart of whole milk, you would assume the amounts of rice and sugar would be fairly standard. Not so!

Rice. I saw anywhere from a half-cup to 2 cups of rice called out for a quart of milk.

Sugar. Again, for a quart of milk, anywhere from 1/3 of a cup to a full cup.

These variations seem to vary too much to make sense. I understand that individual tastes differ, but these differences seem extreme to me.

Flavorings are another thing and they are fascinating in a good way. Often the variations are due to geographic differences. Dried and fresh fruits, varying spices from cinnamon and nutmeg to cardamom and vanilla.

It's all very interesting.

What do you think?
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #2
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Is there any other such dish, something involving multiple ingredients and some non-trivial preparation, that appears in more places around the world? Rice pudding seems to not only be known but to have considerable history in just about every place except Polynesia and Africa south of the north coast. I would be amazing if there weren't hundreds of variations. What's funny is how some of the recipe's varied on account of rice being particularly cheap or expensive in some place.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Sure!....heard of many variations. In our household, DH insists on raisins and cinnamon whilst I like chocolate and apples.

Rice is just a 'holder' for other good stuff, like bread is to a sandwich - no?
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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Sure!....heard of many variations. In our household, DH insists on raisins and cinnamon whilst I like chocolate and apples.

Rice is just a 'holder' for other good stuff, like bread is to a sandwich - no?

Sure, but I'm not talking about the flavorings like raisins and cinnamon or chocolate and apples. I'm talking about the ratios of rice, sugar and dairy.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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You're right. Americans have it like thick pudding. when I make Indian version it's very thin milk or coconut milk base with a bit of rice floating in it and flavoring of course. Both yummy!
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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I've eaten the Indian style many times and it can have such interesting flavors, but I wish that it were a bit thicker.

My favorite type is like Cozy Shack brand, nice and thick.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:51 PM   #7
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I really like rice, but for some reason I don't like rice pudding. You're right Andy, the ratio's seem really far apart. Maybe I've just never happened on the right ratio that would appeal to me.
Rasins? Noooooooo.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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That's pretty interesting, Andy. I would not have expected so much quantity difference between rice, sugar and dairy. For me it would make it tough to look at three recipes and combine them. In my case I would probably have to try each one first, as written, to see which one I liked and for what reason... especially since I've never had rice pudding, lol.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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My rice pudding is basically a cooked vanilla pudding with rice and cinnamon, I make an egg custard base.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:39 PM   #10
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Mine too. I love it with raisins! (sorry Kayelle).

Wow, Pac! Never had rice pudding?
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #11
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I think an important aspect of rice pudding is using cooked rice that has been refrigerated overnight. This adds a little something something to the texture that's hard to describe.

.40
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:58 PM   #12
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I think an important aspect of rice pudding is using cooked rice that has been refrigerated overnight. This adds a little something something to the texture that's hard to describe.

.40

Not one recipe I read had the step of aging overnight. Some had you cook the rice in water before cooking it in the pudding ingredients.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #13
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Cooked rice into the pudding ingredients...I agree with .40.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #14
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My mom made it with Minute Rice. I always made it that way too. It's been awhile, but rice was cooked ahead of time.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:22 PM   #15
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Interesting stuff. Different processes as well and ingredient ratios. My mom cooked the rice in the milk - no eggs.

Also, some recipes call for short grain rice and others long grain or converted rice.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:26 PM   #16
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All the recipes I have seen, that aren't Scandinavian, seem to bake the rice. Danish rice pudding is made in a heavy pot on the stove top, with a lot of milk.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:43 PM   #17
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Interesting stuff. Different processes as well and ingredient ratios. My mom cooked the rice in the milk - no eggs.

Also, some recipes call for short grain rice and others long grain or converted rice.
Standing Ovation for your Mom!! In milk...no eggs!!!

Short/Medium grain rice rules...Long grain in a emergency!....Never ever, ever "Perverted" rice.

In My South.. Cooked rice in an Egg Custard is not considered rice pudding ~~ Maybe good....but no Cigar!
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:54 PM   #18
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All the recipes I have seen, that aren't Scandinavian, seem to bake the rice. Danish rice pudding is made in a heavy pot on the stove top, with a lot of milk.
Used to know a Creole lady of Color from South Loozanna that made it on top of the stove... Took a spell to get it ready. but worth the time/wait ~~ Lip smacking Good!!!!!
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I took a few minutes to visit that interweb place and look up some rice pudding recipes. Apparently, no two recipes are alike. I don't mean in the flavorings or even the types of rice used. I'm talking about the bizarre variations in the amounts of the basic ingredients.

First, dairy. Usually milk, but sometimes in combination with cream. If you start with a set amount, let's say a quart of whole milk, you would assume the amounts of rice and sugar would be fairly standard. Not so!

Rice. I saw anywhere from a half-cup to 2 cups of rice called out for a quart of milk.

Sugar. Again, for a quart of milk, anywhere from 1/3 of a cup to a full cup.

These variations seem to vary too much to make sense. I understand that individual tastes differ, but these differences seem extreme to me.
Rice pudding is a way to use left over rice. Perhaps 3 people in the entire history of the Internet cooked some rice so they could make rice pudding. The other 1,203,694,396 people on the Internet made rice pudding because they had extra rice standing in their refrigerator and wanted to use it for something other than nuking it again for another dinner side dish. Most of them decided to sweeten and dairy it up, some of them liking more or less sugar, some of them liking more or less dairy, and some of them liking it thicker or thinner.

Let's not think too much into this. The rice pudding recipe is malleable depending on what you want: add more or less milk--or cream, more or less sugar, more or less or varying flavorings. (I'll bet vanilla is the most popular additive behind sugar and milk...) And probably an egg. Maybe some cinnamon and raisins...

The simple fact is that all of these recipes with all these variations still amount to "rice pudding." There is no rhyme nor reason to it, nor is there any reason to need any. Rice pudding is just a dessert made from rice, usually sugar, often milk or cream, often an egg, frequently with other things, and if it tastes like a dessert then the recipe sufficed. And the left over rice didn't have to be thrown out.

That is IMO why the recipes vary so much. There is very little requirement other than tasting sweet and not having to throw it out.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:48 PM   #20
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Most of the recipes for rice pudding use rice that hasn't been cooked yet. If someone tells me they are making "risengrød", then I expect it to be made the Scandinavian way and taste like it. When they are being fancy, it's "risalemande": with almond and whipped cream folded into the rice pudding, served with cherry sauce. It's a traditional Xmas dessert.
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