Rice Pudding

Based on “Food of Portugal”

  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of half a lemon, cut in long thin strip
  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 3 cups scalding hot milk (180 F)
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. In a large heavy saucepan set over moderate heat, bring the water, salt, half the sugar, and lemon zest to a simmer, reduce heat so that the water barely trembles, cover, and steep the lemon zest for 10 min.
  2. Remove and discard the zest.
  3. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then stir in the rice
  4. Adjust the heat so that the water bubbles gently, and cook the rice uncovered 10 to 15 minutes until all water is aborbed
  5. Now add about quarter of the hot milk, stir gently, adjust the heat so that the milk just ripples, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the milk is absorbed, about 10 minutes
  6. Continue to add the milk in stages, allowing the rice to absorb each addition completely before pouring in more.
  7. Keep the heat very low and the pan covered, stir the rice now and then, but not too often or it will become gummy. The idea is to let the rice swell and soften so that the final pudding will be supremely creamy.
  8. when you add the last batch of the milk, also mix in the sugar, butter, egg yolks, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon.
  9. Reduce heat to its lowest point, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture is very creamy and no raw egg flavor remains.
  10. Spoon the pudding into a well-buttered shallow 3-quart casserole, decorate the top with remaining cinnamon, and chill for 1 – 2 hours before serving.

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