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Rice Pudding

Puddings and Sweet Deserts

Short grain rice boiled or baked in sweetened milk or cream until sticky. Flavourings, commonly nutmeg, but sometimes vanilla, almonds or a few raisins are occasionally added at the cooking stage. Usually served hot, occasionally with jam. Known in England since the 14th Century and still extremely popular.

Rice Pudding
Image: https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk

Modern rice pudding is the successor to the sweetened grain pottages considered so very good for invalids in medieval times, and has some history back to the Romans. But rice in England was, until quite recently, an expensive import worthy of making only into rather grand puddings - ones with eggs and lard and almond are known. See Rice Pottage for earlier versions.

Original Receipt in 'The Forme of Cury' by the Chief Master-Cook of King Richard II, c1390 (Cury 1390)

Take rice and les them and wasch them clean and seth them tyl they breste and than lat them kele and seth cast ther'to Almand milk and colour it wyth saffron and boyle it and present it forth.

Original Receipt in the 15th Century 'Austin Manuscripts' (Austin 1440)

Rice: Take a porcyoun of rice, & pick them clean, & seethe them welle, & late them kele [cool] then take good milk of almonds & do thereto, & seethe & stere them well; & do thereto sugar an hony, & serve forth.

Original Receipt in 'The Accomplisht Cook' by Robert May, 1660 (Robert May 1660);

To make Rice Puddings
Boil your Rice with Cream, strain it, and put to it two penny loaves grated, eight yolks of eggs, and three whites, beef suet, one pound of Sugar, Salt, Rose-water, Nutmeg, Coriander beaten, &c.
Other Rice Puddings.
Steep your rice in milk over night, and next morning drain it, and boil it with cream, season it with sugar being cold, and eggs, beef-suet, salt, nutmegs, cloves, mace, currans, dates, &c.

A Baked Rice Pudding
Some people consider the 'skin' to be a delicacy.
Image: Aaron Vallance 1dish4theroad.com

Original Receipt in 'The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse, 1747 (Glasse 1747);

To make a Rice-Pudding.
TAKE a quarter of a pound of rice, put it into a sauce-pan, with a quart of new milk, a stick of cinnamon, stir it often, to keep it from sticking to the sauce-pan. When it has thick, pour it into a pan, stir in a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, and sugar to your palate , grate in half a nutmeg, add three or four spoonfuls of rose- water, and stir all well together; when it is cold, beat up eight eggs, with half the whites, beat it all well together, butter a dish, pour it in and bake it. You may lay a puff-paste first all over the dish. For change put in a few currants and sweet meats, if you chuse it

A second Rice Pudding,
GET half a pound of rice put to it three quarts of milk, stir in half a pound of sugar, grate a small nutmeg in, and break in half a pound of fresh butter a dish, and pour it in and bake it. You may add a quarter of a pound of currants for change. If you boil the rice and milk, and then stir in the sugar, you may bake it before the fire, or in a tin oven You may add eggs, but it will be good without

A third Rice Pudding.
TAKE six ounces of the flour of rice, put it into a quart of milk, and let it boil till it is pretty thick, stirring it all the while; then pour it into a pan, stir in half a pound of fresh butter, and a quarter of a pound of sugar; when it is cold grate in a nutmeg, beat six eggs with a spoonful or two of Sack, beat and stir all well together, lay a thin puff-paste on the bottom of your dish pour it in and bake it

Mrs. Beeton offers a version somewhat different to the usual, in that it is baked in a pastry case...

Original Receipt from 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B

1342. INGREDIENTS: 1 small teacupful of rice, 4 eggs, 1 pint of milk, 2 oz. of fresh butter, 2 oz. of beef marrow, 1/4 lb. of currants, 2 tablespoonfuls of brandy, nutmeg, 1/4 lb. of sugar, the rind of1/2 lemon.
Mode: Put the lemon-rind and milk into a stewpan, and let it infuse till the milk is well flavoured with the lemon; in the mean time, boil the rice until tender in water, with a very small quantity of salt, and, when done, let it be thoroughly drained. Beat the eggs, stir to them the milk, which should be strained, the butter, marrow, currants, and remaining ingredients; add the rice, and mix all well together. Line the edges of the dish with puff-paste, put in the pudding, and bake for about 3/4 hour in a slow oven. Slices of candied-peel may be added at pleasure, or Sultana raisins may be substituted for the currants.
Time: 3/4 hour.
Average cost: 1s. 3d.
Sufficient: for 5 or 6 persons.
Seasonable: Suitable for a winter pudding, when fresh fruits are not obtainable.

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's crying with all her might and main,
And she won't eat her dinner - rice pudding again -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

by A.A. Milne (1882-1956)


Apricot and Rice Pudding
Bread and Rice Pudding
Caramel Rice Pudding
Enna's Rice Pudding
Ground Rice Pudding
Ground Rice Pudding Pie
Iced Rice Pudding
Meat Rice
Oxford Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding
Victorian Baked Rice Pudding
Rice Pottage


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