A few weeks ago, my grandmother on my dad’s side passed away. This rice pudding reminds me of her. When I would come home to visit, we would always go out to dinner and order dessert together. She had a wicked sweet tooth and was a great person to share something sweet with. We have shared many a rice pudding brûlée together through the years.
I am a very lucky girl. I am 37 years old and until very recently had both sets of grandparents in my life. I know that I am fortunate, not many people my age can say that. My grandparents were very good to me, and I will miss them very much. My grandparents gave me sage advice, wisdom, and friendship. They are together now, and neither are suffering any longer, so their passing is bittersweet.
Some of my strongest memories come to me through food. As soon as I took a bite of this, I was sitting at a table across from her telling her about my biology class and my latest college boyfriend. She didn’t care as much about the biology, but used that as a ploy to get to the good stuff – the boy talk.
I used a recipe for rice pudding from Slow Cooker Revolution. I don’t think that I will make rice pudding any other way from now on. It is creamy and rich. I loved it. I normally don’t put raisins in anything, but my grandmother liked them, so I added them for her. You don’t have to brûlée these, but it is really easy to do and makes them go from humble to elegant. Sprinkle the tops of the pudding with sugar and tap out the excess. Use a kitchen torch to cook the sugar until it is golden brown. Let it cool for a minute or two before you crack the tops.
1 cup medium grain rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups water
3 cups half-and-half
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (plus more for brûlée)
1/2 cup rasins
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Spray the base of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add rice and salt.
Bring 3 cups of water, half-and-half, vanilla bean, and sugar to a boil in a saucepan.
Stir into slow cooker.
Cover and cook until rice is tender, about 2 hours on HIGH.
If the pudding is too loose, stir until the liquid is absorbed. If it is too thick, add a little hot water.
Stir in raisins, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Portion into ramekins. Sprinkle sugar over pudding in a thin layer. Use a kitchen torch to brûlée the tops of the pudding.