The last time I ate rice pudding, I cried. I cried like it was raining and I was the cloud. Weeping with the knowledge that nothing would be the same and yet the air was ripe with the winds of change.
A balmy summer morning, sun yet to rise, I was groggily sitting in the international terminal of London’s Heathrow Airport, a warm bowl of wintry white rice pudding resting lazily in my hands. Freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon steaming in the air. Speckles of vanilla bean dancing with a hundred grains of rice. Tears streaming down my face.
I was going home. For the last year and some change, I had been living in central England. England with her lovely gardens, protected green spaces, winding roads and cobblestoned streets.
England with hamlet villages dotting the peaks, Cotswold cottages and medieval cathedrals. England. The land of newfound independence, contented smiles and directed footsteps. Home.
For 6 weeks, I would trespass on my family home, shaking up their agendas with the excitement of my return. A temporary sojourn before moving to Northern Russia. Tears. Was I ready for Russian winters and linguistic learning? Hugging my bowl of rice pudding, I was scared shitless, on the verge of crumbling right before my very eyes.
It’s been 14 years since that small bowl of rice pudding in a London airport, each grain its own philosophical question. It took me 14 years to realize I don’t have to have all the answers. And what’s more comforting than that? xoxo
- 3 tablespoons Basmati Rice
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 egg yolk
- Zest from 1/8 of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- 1/16 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/16 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/32 teaspoon salt
- Whipped cream, for decorating
- Cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
- Soak the rice in cold water, drain and repeat until the water runs clear.
- Bring the rice, 1 teaspoon of butter and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.
- Next, add the milk, sugar and salt to the rice. Return to a boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the rice resembles a thick porridge.
- Whisk the egg yolk and heavy cream together in a small bowl. Temper the rice to the egg yolk by stirring a small spoonful at a time of rice into the yolk mixture slowly working up to a large teaspoon without cooking the egg.
- Finally, fold in the tempered egg yolk, vanilla, and vanilla paste. Dollop with whipped warm and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Enjoy xoxo!
- If the pudding is too thick, add extra milk to thin it out.