‘Milk puddings’ is the general term applied to any pudding made with milk and cereal of some type. Milk puddings can be found all over the world and vary greatly. Rice is the most popular grain to use in milk puddings. Other grains used in milk puddings include semolina and sago.
Rice pudding is a traditional and very popular dessert in the UK. It is usually made with pudding rice, milk, cream and sugar. Rice pudding was first made in Asia and over thousands of years various recipes have developed. In Europe, rice pudding made with goats’ milk was first used by the Romans for medicinal purposes and in the16th Century in Denmark it was considered a luxury dish, as rice was an item only afforded by the rich. Over centuries the European recipe has been simplified resulting in the modern version.
There are now a wide variety of different types of rice pudding. Some are enriched by the addition of egg or made more interesting by the addition of dried, fresh or canned fruit and even chocolate. Jams and marmalades are also often added to rice pudding. Rice pudding can be flavoured with vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon and enjoyed hot or cold.
Rice pudding can be made by gently simmering the milk and pudding rice in a saucepan until the rice is tender and then mixing the sugar in. Additionally cream can be mixed in. Rice pudding can also be made by baking all the ingredients in a baking dish in the oven at a low temperature for a few hours, until the rice is tender and the pudding has a creamy texture. Ready to eat rice puddings are widely available in the UK in tins, cans or pots.
Milk and rice puddings are a nutritious dessert, particularly if they are served with fruit, and they can contribute to the intake of milk’s valuable nutrients.