There’s nothing like mom’s old standby recipes, regardless of whether it’s a biological mom or a chosen one. Sometimes, the simplest food is the best one, especially during long winters. When I was 17 I did a gap year in Turkey that changed my life, not least of all because it instilled in me a deep love of delicious food. Seriously, that is some of the best cuisine in the whole world!
This recipe started as my Turkish mom’s recipe for rice pudding, which I haven’t made in ages. I’ve tweaked it a little to my own tastes, lowering the sugar count and adding just a dash of orange extract, which pairs brilliantly with the dusting of cinnamon on top. I couldn’t decide whether I liked it better as a dessert or for a breakfast treat, but I like to think that even my Turkish mom would like it with a nice cup of tea. :)
Seni seviyorum, anne!
Rice Pudding Recipe
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, to taste
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Tbs. corn starch
- Dash each vanilla and orange extract
- ground cinnamon to serve
Combine 4 cups of milk and the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rice and cook for around 20 minutes or so, until the rice is soft. You may need to stir occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, corn starch, vanilla, and orange extract. While whisking, pour a little of the hot milk from the pan into the bowl to temper the eggs. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot and cook for another couple of minutes, whisking or stirring to fully combine. The mixture should thicken considerably during this time. Pour everything into a heat-proof casserole dish (or smaller individual sized serving bowls). At this point, you can either serve warm or room temperature, or chill for later. You can also put the whole casserole into an oven preheated to 350F for around 20 minutes, until they are warmed through and the tops have browned.