This old-time classic French rice pudding recipe is milky, creamy, and sticky with just a hint of vanilla. Like a sweet childhood memory …
Good-old rice pudding. Milky, creamy, sticky, gooey … describe it however you like, it is just plain delicious. Without any doubt, one of the most adored comfort foods in the world, whether young or old. I am pretty sure we all share the same feeling when that first spoonful of rice pudding hits our taste buds, reviving the sweet, tender emotions of our childhood.
In France, there are so many ways to prepare and enjoy rice pudding (or “riz au lait” )- The Parisians will boil it… the Bretons will bake it… In Savoy, they will add eggs… in the Pyrenees they will add honey… in Guadeloupe, they will add raisins and rum; and so on and so on … Now, the recipe of the French rice pudding that I am sharing with you here, is the one from my childhood. And to me, it is the most simple, honest and delicious out there.
This recipe originates from the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy. To most Canadians and Americans, this northwest coast of France is well-known for its bloody past – it is indeed in the Cotentin, during World War II, where part of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy was fought.
But Normandy is also well renowned for its rich gastronomic heritage. And its centuries-old recipes very often highlight the most iconic ingredient produced in the region: cow’s milk. Oh cow’s milk… so simple yet so marvelous! And despite the recent trend of criticizing the health and benefits of cow’s milk in much of the world, the French will never turn their back on their “white gold”. Never! So here you have it. The true, die-hard, cow’s milk French rice pudding. With just a hint of vanilla and a swirl of sour cream. Simply delicious.
- 125 g of pudding rice (sushi rice or risotto rice works as well)
- 1.15 litre of milk (whole milk or 2% - avoid 1% or skimmed milk)
- 100 g sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split, or 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of sour cream
- Rinse the rice very well under cold water.
- In a large saucepan, stir together the milk, sugar and the “caviar” you scraped from the inside of the vanilla bean (or use vanilla extract), and bring to a boil. Then add the rice.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring once in a while with a whisk.
- Once the liquid is fully absorbed and the rice cooked (it should even feel overcooked), add the sour cream and mix. The final consistency should be very creamy.
- Let cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge. Serve it cold.
- If the rice pudding is a bit dry and doughy at the end of the cooking time, mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of cold milk, it will make it creamy once again.