Rice Pudding

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Here’s a basic outline of my rice pudding recipe that will easily serve a dozen hungry folks. Rebecca’s comment that follows shows a way of making a delicious vegan version.

Ingredients:

1 cup rice

(you can use any kind, brown, basmati, fancy wild, sticky white…whatever, I’ve tried most and they all seem to work with this method of long cooking)

1/2 gallon milk

(I prefer organic skim milk. In addition, you can add a can or two of evaporated milk, and/or a can or two of condensed milk, but if you don’t have any around, plain skim milk works too)

Sweetener to taste

(About one cup of homemade apple sauce works really well, if you have it; otherwise you can use honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, or another can of condensed milk. I haven’t tried agave yet in the pudding – let me know if it works for you)

Coconut

(Sometimes I use the finely shredded organic coconut, but I almost always use a can or two of nonfat coconut milk)

Currants

(I prefer to use about a half box of currants, but if I don’t have any in the house, I’ll use raisins. Sometimes I add other dried fruit: dates, apricots, papaya, even chopped dried mango bits add interest)

Walnuts

(At least one cup of chopped walnuts. Sometimes I use pistachios; In the past I have also used pecans, or hazelnuts, or any combination of nuts with good effects)

Cinnamon

(You can cook the rice with about six cinnamon sticks or add a tablespoon of ground cinnamon to the pudding as you add the milk and other ingredients.)

Directions:

1. Cook the rice using your favorite method.

2. Add the other ingredients to the rice in a large, heavy-bottom pot.

3. Cook on low for a long time (two hours or longer) until mixture thickens. It will continue to thicken as the rice absorbs the liquid even after it is done cooking.

4. Serve warm or cold. Dress it up with whipped cream or a dollop of yogurt.