Rice Pudding

This blog wouldn’t be happening if I hadn’t come into possession of my grandmother’s recipe collection. So it only seems fitting that I make one of her all-time favorites: rice pudding. 

I loved spending time at my grandma Kay’s house when I was little. As the oldest child of what would eventually become a brood of six children, I was a pretty big fan of scenarios where I could be the star of the show. I often begged to be left behind at Kay’s house for a weekend or for her to take me home with her over a school vacation because I knew I was in for not just some undivided attention, but also a whole series of treats. There’d be dinner out on the town with my great-aunt or bachelor uncles, at an Italian restaurant where for some reason my go-to order was a side salad of iceberg lettuce with French dressing and a BLT on white bread. Sliced apples with cinnamon and too much sugar sprinkled over top. Delivery pizza that was always paired with chocolate milkshakes whipped up by my uncle Martin in the blender. Bowlfuls of Gertrude Hawk chocolates eaten while we watched Nick at Nite. 

Serves: 4-6 Time: 60 min


  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups half-and-half (divided)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 2 cups quart water 
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg


  • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, 1 cup half-and-half, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • Mix together rice, milk, water, 1 cup half-and-half, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. 
  • Cook over medium heat, until milk is thickened and rice has softened, about 10 minutes. Stir often with a spatula or wooden spoon and scrape the bottom to make sure no rice is sticking. 
  • Stir egg mixture into thickened rice mixture in the saucepan. Continue cooking over low heat, until mixture reaches a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rice grains should be fatter and prominent in the custard. 
  • Add raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove from heat once additions are mixed in. 
  • Let rice pudding cool and set on the stove. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Kay was always asking if there was anything I would like, a treat or a snack that she could get us from her pantry while we read our books or watched an episode of Murder, She Wrote. I suspect—no, I know—this was because she “wouldn’t mind a little something” herself. It was one of these moments that led to my first taste of rice pudding, which I thought might be disgusting before I tried it but found to be a very excellent snack. It was something that Kay often had on hand and is just one of those things that I’ll always associate with her. 

Rice Pudding Progress with Handwritten Recipe

Unsurprisingly, when I was cataloguing the hundreds of recipes that she saved, I found four different recipes for rice pudding. I chose to make the one I deemed the most “classic.” Kay wrote it out on an index card and I believe it could have been a recipe from the River Rice brand, but I haven’t quite been able to find anything that matches it exactly. The original recipe she wrote had double the amounts for each ingredient, though she very helpfully halved them right on the card! 

I have written more specific instructions than those on the original recipe card, which I hope helps you as you make this delicious, creamy rice pudding. Let me know how it turns out for you or if you have any classic rice pudding tricks up your sleeve!

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