Rice pudding is a favorite comfort food, and this version is creamier and more flavorful than most. The rice pudding can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, tightly covered with plastic wrap.
- Long-grain white rice - 1 cup
- Water - 4 cups
- Milk - 4 cups
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
- Raisins - 1/3 cup
- Apricot preserves - 2 tablespoons
- Pastry Cream
- Milk - 3/4 cup
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Vanilla - 1/2 teaspoon
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Blanch the rice in 4 cups boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain. In a large saucepan, combine the drained rice with the milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer about 45 minutes until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Pour the rice into a bowl to cool, then chill in the refrigerator until cold, stirring occasionally as it chills. Plump the raisins in boiling water to cover for about 15 minutes off the heat. Drain; add the raisins to the cooled rice, along with the apricot preserves.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the pastry cream: Combine the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and bring the mixture to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks. Whisking constantly, gradually add about half of the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the double boiler and cook, stirring constantly, just until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Chill in the refrigerator.
To serve: Whip the heavy cream with the confectioner’s sugar until firm peaks form. Fold half of the whipped cream and pastry cream into the chilled rice. Spoon into attractive bowls or glasses and top each with a dollop of the remaining whipped cream.