Almond-Vanilla Rice Pudding

9:36 PM

Back when I first moved to Utah, there was a cute little rice pudding parlor... with rice pudding in every flavor you can imagine!  I had never tried rice pudding before that, but as soon as I tried it I was hooked.  Oh, it was wonderful!  My favorite - coconut, with pistachio as a close second.  One bite was enough to make me swoon, sending me into a creamy bliss that lasted long past when I had licked the bowl clean finished.  Sadly, the store closed (and apparently moved to Portland, OR) about a year before we left, leaving me lost and confused.  Where was I supposed to get my rice pudding fix?

Even though I make just about everything from scratch, rice pudding just seemed so daunting.  I wasn't sure I could make any that lived up to my expectations.  Crazy, I know.  After watching an Alton Brown "Good Eats" episode about rice pudding I finally worked up the nerve to just try it.  I don't know why I waited so long to make it!  It was so easy and oh-so-good.

I had a rather large pile of rice pudding recipes, all waiting for their perfect moment to land on the menu.  Since I couldn't choose between 3 or 4 of the recipes, I decided to just combine them.  The result was fantastic!!  When I went to get started, I realized that all we had in the house was brown rice, and we just happened to have some left over from dinner the night before, so I used that.  I wasn't sure how it would taste with the brown rice, but I loved it!  Soft and creamy, with just a bit more chew to it than typical rice pudding.  It's healthier than regular rice pudding as well, so I don't feel quite as guilty when I eat it for breakfast or dinner.

Almond-Vanilla Rice Pudding

  • 1 c cooked brown rice
  • 4 c almond milk
  • (scant) 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 bay leaf  (seriously, it's amazing!)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the cooked rice, almond milk, sugar, bay leaf, and salt.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

Cook for about 30 minutes, until liquid has reduced and it begins to get thick and syrupy.  It will continue to thicken a bit as it cools, so don't cook out all of the liquid!

Remove from heat and stir in the extracts.  Spoon into serving bowls and serve immediately, or cover and chill in the refrigerator before serving.  Enjoy!

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