Tuesday, 20 May 2008

nana's rice pudding...a secret recipe...shhhhh!

as a child i grew up overseas and usually spent my summers in Ireland visiting my grandma (affectionately called nana). those summers remain very fond memories for me and something that i always associate with those summers is rice pudding. and not just any old rice pudding, this is the secret recipe rice pudding that my nana would make for us and it would be instantly gobbled up as fast as it came out of the oven. yes, that's right...you read correctly...the oven. my nana's rice pudding was baked. and it's funny because for years when i would be in the supermarket and i'd see tins of rice pudding for sale, i would wonder how it was possible that baked rice pudding could come from a tin (my nana forbid us to buy it, muttering a string of opinonated comments on the sheer disgrace of buying rice pudding in a tin!). it was only years later that i realised that the rice pudding in the tin was usually made in a saucepan and a different process altogether! i grew up believing baked rice pudding was THE only kind of rice pudding out there and in my honest opinion it still is. i could wake up in the middle of the night to eat this rice pudding! and the best part...it is so easy to make. a recipe that has never been written down (probably until now) and so i have no idea about exact quantities but just go by what i remember my nana doing when i would watch her preparing it for us and be badgering her with my unceasing questions of 'when will it be ready?' and it goes on! yesterday, as i was making it, my brother began those very same questions as he waited also not-so-patiently for it to come out of the oven. it's the simple things in life that truly bring the best pleasure!

the rice pudding as it looks when it comes out of the oven...lovingly sprinkled with nutmeg, and if you don't like nutmeg, well, for this you have to just go with it, because it makes the whole experience taste so much better!

the inside of the rice pudding - i have tried this with all different kinds of grains of rice. here in Ireland you can buy such a thing as 'pudding rice' which obviously is perfect because it is very short grain and white in colour, but any short grain rice will suffice. i used basmati rice for this version and it worked fine.

all served up in the bowl and almost ready to be eaten...photographing the pudding was quite a challenge as inbetween photos my brother was digging into the pudding and devouring it at a speed that one might consider to be well above the average rate of eating.

and finally, in my family, baked rice pudding has always been eaten with milk poured over it. does that seem strange? well, it's just how we've always done it. it's a perfect contrast - the hot rice pudding just out of the oven and the cold, fresh milk. yummy!

and now for the recipe...

choose a pie dish and cover the bottom with uncooked rice. wash the rice until the water runs clear. cover the rice with milk and put in the oven for about 20 minutes until the top of the rice is lightly browned and the skin has burst (my grandma called this stage the bursting the rice stage!) remove from the oven and scrape the rice from side of the dish and break it up. put about 3 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar and half a cup of raisins into the rice. mix it up. pour in enough milk to cover the rice and sprinkle a generous amount of nutmeg on the top. bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the milk has all been absorbed and pudding is firm. remove...don't bother cooling, eat immediately with cold milk straight from the fridge.

there really is nothing better than recipes your grandma taught you...not written down but passed down through the generations by word of mouth. hence the amounts in the above recipe are guestimates.

enjoy a little bit of old-fashioned tummy-warming love courtesy of the loveliest nana in the world!

8 comments:

Blog Princess G said...

Very generous of you to share a secret family recipe. I'll be trying this one too. Thanks AF! The pics look heavenly.

the AIRY FAIRY said...

thanx blog princess! every time i bake i think of my grandma who was the first major baking influence in my life. she was an amazing woman...just wish she still was around to try some of my creations...

Mara said...

yummy!!!! this looks tasty.

the AIRY FAIRY said...

thanks mara, yup nana always knows best and she certainly did when it came to rice pudding!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Oh gosh rice pudding is in my top 3 fave desserts!

the AIRY FAIRY said...

hey how to eat a cupcake...me too, me too! there's just something so warm and homely about rice pudding :)

Rebecca said...

That is lovely! Some of my favorite recipes came from my Grandma as well.

In fact, the reason I'm a food writer now is because my Gram lovingly bossed me around until I finally sent some of my work to an editor who accepted it.

Grandma's rule!

the AIRY FAIRY said...

hi rebecca...perfectly said! i couldn't agree more...grandma's DO rule!