Mr. Ninj is a huge fan of rice pudding. Back in the days when we were dating and not eating as healthfully as we are today, he was known to buy a tub of Cozy Shack rice pudding from the grocery store and eat the whole thing.
Yeah, I'd say that makes him a huge fan.
Up until now, I hadn't really made rice pudding because it seemed like too much of a pain in the ass, frankly, and you know The Ninj is all about easy when it comes to recipes. (I know, that's not very loving of me, but hey, I'm honest.)
But brown rice pudding? That uses leftover or instant-cook rice and involves minimal prep? Now you're speaking my language!
I love this recipe because it's super easy and, because of the individual portions, you can pull one out of the fridge anytime you want a snack. Or, let's face it, breakfast -- this rice pudding makes a seriously delicious and filling quick breakfast. The custard is thick but smooth, and the rice adds just a hint of chewiness.
Additionally, I like this rice pudding recipe because it's customizable (you know I dig that in a recipe). Don't like raisins? Leave them out -- or substitute dried cherries, plums or cranberries. Wicked yummy.
If you prefer a crunchy top on your pudding and are using instant-cook rice, don't bother to cook it first (that makes it an even easier recipe, too!). Be aware, however, that it is very crunchy, not just a wee bit crunchy.
You can use any 1-cup ramekin or bowl for the individual servings, but, as you can see from the photos, I like to use wide-mouth half-pint canning jars. Why? Well, come on, first of all, they're CUTE AS HELL. But, more importantly, they're easy to store in the fridge since you can just pop a lid on them, and, perhaps most importantly, I'm a canning jar hoarder, so it gives me an excuse to whip out my canning jars without needing to make a batch of jam or more pickles.
Since this rice pudding cooks in a water bath, be sure you have a pan that is deep enough to accommodate enough water to reach the filling level of the pudding container you've chosen. For the canning jars, I put them in loaf pans, as a regular baking pan wasn't quite tall enough.
You'll note, too, that I am confidently calling this a "healthy dessert." Substituting brown rice and skim milk and reducing the amount of egg and sugar compared with regular rice pudding yields a dessert (or breakfast!) serving with less than 200 calories and only 4 gram of fat.
I think I, too, am becoming a huge fan of rice pudding. Well, this brown rice pudding, anyway.
Howzabout you? Yay or nay on rice pudding? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.
Brown Rice Pudding(inspired by Shape magazine)
Makes 4 one-cup/8-ounce servings but is easily doubled or halved. For a very crunchy topping, don't bother to cook the instant brown rice before adding to the ramekins.
1/2 cup uncooked instant brown rice plus OR 1 cup of cooked brown rice
8 teaspoons old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray four 1-cup/8-ounce ramekins or jars with cooking spray.
Cook 1/2 cup instant brown rice according to package directions (or follow package directions to make 1 cup cooked rice). Add 1/4 cup of cooked rice to each ramekin. Divide the oats and cinnamon evenly and add to each ramekin. Give each a little stir.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and milk. Pour equal amounts into each ramekin. Divide the raisins and add to each ramekin.
Place the ramekins into a loaf pan or other high-sided baking dish. Add enough very hot tap water to the pan to reach the top level of the ramekin filling without spilling over into the ramekin itself. Carefully slide the pan into the oven. Bake for between 45 and 55 minutes (roughly 45 for uncooked rice, 55 for cooked) or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove ramekins from water bath (I use tongs to do this) and cool to room temperature for serving. Refrigerate remaining ramekins.