I recently created a fun poll on Facebook about rice pudding, asking people if they preferred it with or without jam. I was very quick to make it clear that I was talking about real homemade rice pudding here, not that awful stuff that comes in tins. I also said, employing a bit of hypnotherapist’s humour, that I could help anyone traumatised by memories of school rice pudding.
I’m pleased to report that, at the time of writing, sanity has prevailed and the vote is 67% in favour of rice pudding without jam. This, as far as I am concerned, is the only way it should be eaten. And I am right!
One person reported that she’d been served rice pudding with prunes while at school and had never been able to face it since. This is understandable. For the benefit of this poor unfortunate, anyone else who has been put off by previous bad experiences, and those who persist in eating Ambrosia Creamed Rice (especially those who eat it cold, straight from the tin), I offer my recipe for Coconut Rice Pudding.
(A word of warning. This is not health food. If you want to substitute semi-skimmed milk and light coconut milk that is entirely up to you but please don’t then tell me that my recipe doesn’t work. Vegans may be able to use some sort of non-animal milk – I honestly don’t know but would be interested to hear about the results.)
- 2½oz (60g) butter
- 2½oz (60g) caster sugar
- 1 pt (570ml) full fat milk
- 14 fl oz (400ml) tin coconut milk
- Pinch of salt
- 3½oz (100g) pudding rice
- Preheat the oven to 140ºC/275ºF/Gas 1.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat.
- Add the sugar, heating gently.
- Stir in the milk, coconut milk, salt and rice.
- Bring to the boil.
- Transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover, and place in the oven for an hour.
- If it starts to dry out, stir in a bit more milk. Or cream.
- Enjoy. Without jam.
Cooking for family and friends is something that I enjoy. It gives me pleasure, and the positive feedback I get is good for my personal self-esteem. That aside, a good rice pudding is like love in a bowl, the ultimate comfort food when things aren’t quite right in the world.