Rice: "the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East and South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after maize [corn]".
It is also enjoyed by a large part of the world as a dessert. In pudding form to be specific. As i'm not really a fan, i've never attempted to make rice pudding. However i do recognize that it is a popular dessert and even though there are pre-made varieties available i also recognize that there are some cooks who like to make rice pudding from scratch. Once again i will use The Southern Cookbook as my recipe resource. i was intrigued with the varieties of rice pudding recipes. i was also tickled by the instructions for the "plain rice pudding" recipe which begins with hand picking the rice to be used as the primary ingredient. Had kind of a 'Forest Gump' moment as i came across the different recipes. You know when he's talking about the different kinds of shrimp recipes his company had.
But back to the matter at hand---rice pudding.
Plain Rice Pudding
Wash and pick some rice; throw among it some pimento finely pounded, but not much; tie the rice in a cloth, and leave plenty of room for it to swell. Boil it in a quantity of water for an hour or two. When done, eat it with butter and sugar, or milk. Put lemon-peel if you please.
It is very good without spice, and eaten with salt and butter.
The Southern Cookbook yielded six different rice pudding recipes. i figured i'd find maybe two or three at most. The one that i think has a strong possibility of making me a rice pudding convert is rice pudding with currants raisins apples and gooseberries---appropriately named "rice pudding with fruit". And speaking of naming recipes who knew there was a rice pudding recipe with a proper name? i am of course referring to the "George [Rice] Pudding"
Soak four ounces of rice in warm water half an hour: drain the latter from it, and throw it into stewpan, with half a pint of milk, half a stick of cinnamon, and simmer till tender. When cold, add four whole eggs well beaten, two ounces of butter melted in a teaspoonful of cream; and put three ounces of sugar, a quarter of a nutmeg, and a good piece of lemon-peel.
Put a light puff paste into a mould or dish, or grated tops and bottoms, and bake in a quick oven.
Rice Small Puddings
Wash two large spoonfuls of rice, and simmer it with half a pint of milk till thick. Then put with it the size of an egg of butter, and nearly a half a pint of thick cream, and give it «ne boil. When cool, mix four yolks and two whites of eggs well beaten; sweeten to taste, add nutmeg, lemon-peel grated fine, and a little cinnamon powdered.
Butter little cups, and fill three parts full, and putting at the bottom some orange or citron. Bake three quarters of an hour in a slow oven. Serve the moment before to be eaten, with sweet sauce in the dish, or a boat.
Rice Pudding With Fruit
Swell the rice with a very little milk over the fire; then mix fruit of any kind with it, (currants ; gooseberries scalded; pared and quartered apples; raisins, or black currants:) with one egg into the rice, to bind it. Boil it well, and serve with sugar.
Baked Rice Pudding
Swell rice as above; then add some more milk, an egg, sugar, allspice and lemon-peel. Bake in a deep dish.
Another, for the Family
Put into a very deep pan half a pound of rice, washed and picked, two ounces of butter, four ounces of sugar, a few allspices pounded, and two quarts of milk. Less butter will do, or some suet. Bake in a slow oven.
Note—Eggs in rice pudding, if made of whole rice, causes the milk to turn to whey if not boiled first, and then mixed cool.
Text Credit: The Southern Cookbook: "a manual of cooking and list of menus, including recipes used by noted colored cooks and prominent caterers"
Recipes compiled by S.Thomas Bivins Published by Press of the Hampton Institute, 1912
Text Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikipedia