This creamy rice pudding takes me back to my childhood. 15 to 20 years ago a dessert was still a treat for special occasions and celebrations here in Greece (especially on the Greek countryside ). Back then you'd get scold if you were eating too much sugar because it's bad for you.
Unlike today that sugar is in each and every food and consumed in large amounts daily.
So growing up in a small Greek village this rice pudding along with the classic custard cream and the traditional Greek yogurt with the fatty skin on top, where all treats you had to go to the city center to get. To a place called Galaktopoleion.
Galaktopoleion was something like a pastry shop. But selling only dairy products, and desserts made only with sheep's milk. This was the first type of shop to sell sweets before even the idea of a pastry shop existed in Greece.
NOTE: What makes Greek yogurt Greek, is the fact that its made with sheep's milk. That's the Authentic Greek yogurt.
Rice pudding was always my favorite treat.
In Greece we make it using milk, sugar, short grain (white) rice, some cornstarch to thicken it, lemon peel & vanilla for flavoring, and ground cinnamon on top. No eggs in this rice pudding recipe.
Also, Greek Rice Pudding is almost always served cold. If you're used to eating warm rice pudding I think you should try this too, you'll be amazed how good and how refreshing it tastes.
So my idea of the perfect rice pudding is a perfectly creamy one. If you're into sticky mushy and dense rice pudding with a minimum amount of cream to it, then you may not like this one.
This Greek Rice Rudding Recipe has the texture of cool velvety cream. Truly refreshing with the right amount of rice in it. It's not too sweet but sweet enough. I personally can't get enough of it.
How To Make The Best Greek Rice Pudding
- Use white short grain rice (has the right amount of stickiness to it to thicken the pudding).
- Overcook rice until completely soft. It should look very gluey.
- Do not drain and rinse rice. Simply cook until it absorbs all the water the recipe calls for (so you won't lose on the stickiness).
- It's best if it's refrigerated for a few hours before serving. Since cornstarch tends to thicken more when it gets cooled. Achieving this way the perfectly creamy texture!
And did I tell you? It takes only about 30 minutes to make.
All in all, it's a great fueling sweet snack to enjoy at all times during the day. I love to have it as breakfast as well. Sounds weird to you? Well, summer in Greece can be really hot and a sweet and refreshing treat like this Rice Pudding can be all you need or (I need) at any time!
Greek Rice Pudding Recipe
- 100 grams / 3.5 oz short-grain white rice
- 600 ml water
- 1 lemon peel
- 800 ml milk
- 130 grams / 4.5 oz sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 ml fresh milk
- 50 grams /1.7 oz cornstarch
- ground cinnamon to serve with
- In a small saucepan bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and lemon peel.
- Reduce heat to medium (medium-low on a gas stove). Simmer until the rice absorbs all the water and starts to become very sticky. NOTE: When you taste the rice it should feel very soft like it's overcooked. Otherwise, add a little bit more water. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the 100 ml of milk with the cornstarch and set aside.
- In a medium-sized cooking pot, add the remaining 800 ml of milk and the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the vanilla extract and the rice to the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring with a whisk.
- Pour cornstarch mixture into the pot and whisk constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. NOTE: It won't thicken as much as pastry cream. It will look more like a runny cream. It gets thicker while it sits and cools down.
- Divide the creamy pudding into small bowls or jars of your preference. Let pudding reach room temperature before refrigerating.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve sprinkled with ground cinnamon.
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