Sunday 3 March 2013

Nanny Harrington's rice pudding

Nanny who? Nanny Harrington, my mum’s mum. One of the staples at the Harrington household was the rice pudding, something my brother and I would eat very often and something that evokes real nostalgia for me. It makes me think of playing Star Wars in the garden and getting told by granddad to get out of his shed before sitting down to a lovely lunch, followed by ‘The Munsters’, ‘Get Smart’ and ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’!

I’ve not made proper rice pudding for a very, very long time so really excited about making it for dessert this evening, after an excellent beef stew. My recipe is very simple, and I think it makes a rice pudding that is very much like the one that Nanny Harrington would have made.

Method: Melt 50g butter in a casserole dish and add 100g of pudding rice. Stir. Add 75g of sugar and continue to stir until the rice swells a little bit and forms a sticky mess with the sugar. Pour in 1l of full-fat milk, 150ml of double cream and 1tsp of vanilla essence (½ a vanilla pod ideally, but we had run out) and very gently bring to a simmer. Grate ½ a nutmeg over the top and bake for 1½ hours in an oven at 140°C.

When it come out it should have a thick brown skin that needs a knife to remove from the side of the dish. Rice pudding skin really is a delicacy, it is the best bit and anybody who says otherwise just needs to jog on. This is perfect served with a generous swirl of strawberry jam (from Tiptree naturally).

This dish was a great success, and very evocatively captured the mood in Nanny Harrington’s house of about 20 years ago, even down to the retro casserole dish that I got in a junk shop for 50p. Loved this epic dessert (which is simplicity itself) so much!

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