Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is something my mother loves. Although she never made it from scratch, I have always associated rice pudding with her. My mother did not teach me how to make this classic comfort food, ironically I learned how to make it at my first job out of culinary school. Although hired as a saucier, I was the only female in the kitchen and expected to do sweets and pastries on the side. If you’ve read the famous book Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, you are already well-versed in the gender inequalities that exist within kitchens. And even all these years later, when I say I’m a trained chef, most people assume that means pasty.

vanilla rice pudding

Kitchen politics aside, it was during my time as a saucier that I took over making rice pudding, a signature dessert, of the clubs. I made A LOT of rice pudding working there, and as a result, I established a rather intense love-hate relationship with it. I perfected my recipe but basically abstained from eating it for many years thereafter.

vanilla rice pudding

This recipe is really a classic version, minus the raisins (a requirement of the clubs), which I’ve never been a fan of. This rice pudding is rich, creamy, and loaded with vanilla flavor. My trick to making this classic dish is, that I don’t use fancy rice, believe it or not, I always use  Uncle Bens original. And I use a combination of milk and heavy cream, which I think is critical for that velvety feel rice pudding should have. I serve mine chilled, never warm, with a bit more heavy cream swirled in and a light dusting of ground cinnamon on top. It’s decadent, pleasing (yes, I can eat it again), and will forever remind me of my mom.

vanilla rice pudding

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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