For some reason, whenever I’m baking for fellow teacher friends (and the dessert is not going to school), I always turn to my Boozy Baker cookbook. You’ve seen a recipe from it before in my Nightcap Tart. Maybe it’s because it was Friday. Maybe it’s because I have a pretty well-stocked bar despite not drinking hard liquor. But I found myself reaching for it again this week after inviting some of those teachers over for a working Friday night.
Now, rice pudding is one of those love-or-hate type desserts. Some people are all about the texture, creaminess, and ability to eat it with a spoon. Others think that the rice end up looking like larvae and can’t stand the idea of putting it into their mouths. I happen to fall into the first group, but if you’re in the second, this week’s post is not for you.
The other awesome thing about rice pudding? It’s extremely therapeutic to make. Which, after an admittedly difficult week at work, was just what I needed. The key to not ruining it is almost constantly stirring it for over an hour. This may sound tedious, but it’s actually wonderful. You can try to figure out who all of Ed Sheeran’s songs are about, make phone calls you’ve been neglecting, do mini chores around the kitchen – you could probably even read a book if you were so inclined. But the constant stirring definitely calmed me down, and at the end I had a delicious way to continue to get rid of my worries.
First, bring the water to boil in a medium to large saucepan. Add the rice and salt, give it a stir, cover it, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the water is absorbed, which is about 15-20 minutes.
Side note: my pans have awesome clear lids, which made this particularly fun. I got to watch all the bubbles through the top and at the end I could see how it was going without lifting the lid.
Anyways, while that’s cooking, the boozy bit comes into play. Put the raisins and rum into a small saucepan.
Bring the rum to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer it until the rum is mostly absorbed. Give it a stir every once in awhile to make sure all of the raisins get nice and rum-filled.
When the rum is just about gone, remove the pan from heat and set aside. This will make your kitchen smell awesome – the scent ends up being more sweet then alcoholic, which is more than I can say for the Jack Daniel’s cured bacon I made one time.
Make sure you’ve been checking on your rice, because it should be just about done. When it is, it will look like this:
The next step is to uncover the rice, add the milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla, and increase the heat to medium low.
And here is where that therapy begins. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, for about 35-40 minutes. The mixture will get thick and creamy, but keep going until it is actual pudding consistency. At around 20 minutes I was convinced it was thick enough, but I trusted the cookbook and kept going for another 15 minutes, and it definitely paid off.
Remove from heat and immediately stir in the rum and raisins from the small saucepan.
You’re not done stirring yet! Now, for this part, you don’t have to be quite as vigilant, but as you allow the pudding to cool to room temperature over about 30 minutes, make sure you give it a stir every 5 minutes or so. This just prevents it from getting a weird crustiness that is definitely not appealing in the rice pudding world.
After the 30 minutes, mash up a large banana with a fork and stir it into the pudding.
You can serve the pudding warm, or put it in the refrigerator to cool further. This one is definitely up to your preference – I’m used to cold pudding, but I did have a spoonful of it warm before chilling it, and that was equally good, and probably actually preferable on a chilly fall night.
Banana Rum Raisin Rice Pudding
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup dark rum
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 2 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large ripe banana, mashed
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium-large saucepan.
- Add rice and salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine rum and raisins in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until rum is just about absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When water is absorbed by rice, remove cover and add milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thick and creamy, about 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in rum and raisins from small saucepan.
- Allow to cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally as it cools.
- Stir in the mashed banana and either chill in the refrigerator or serve warm.