A last minute dinner invitation reminded me of my scandonavian roots - and how tasty it can be to stick with the familiar sometimes. After a slow cooked lamb stew - the rice pudding came out. Rice pudding is fantastic when it is done right, but is so often done wrong:too sweet, too mushy or too heavy. But when done right, it is slightly sweet and you can still feel the individual grains of rice without any crunch.
So, rice pudding it is. Now the scandonavian roots are to be debated. It just happens that my finnish side would often include rice pudding in with the holiday spread of food. Our tradition included an almond in the pudding. Whomever "won" the almond was supposed to do the dishes - but usually just got to brag that they found it.
1 cup long-grain rice, rinsed and drained well
6 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar, plus
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Mix all of the ingredients together and place in a 3-quart covered saucepan. Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove and then place, covered, in the preheated oven.
Bake without disturbing or stirring for 2 hours and 45 minutes. The pudding will almost caramelize and become a pale golden color.