Everything you need to know about rice pudding
Plus, a delicious rice pudding slow cooker recipe
The history of rice pudding
Although the exact origin of rice pudding is unclear, logical signs point towards Asia. Where rice has been grown, harvested and enjoyed for thousands of years.
Rice slowly made its way westward during the 8th century, brought through Europe from North Africa by the Moors, into the likes of Spain and Portugal. And in all of these countries, variations of rice pudding appear throughout history, topped with spices, nuts or fruits.
Rice pudding isn’t thought to have made its way to English shores until the 14th century. A recipe for potted rice appears in one of the UK’s oldest cookbooks, The Forme of Cury, which means the method of cooking. It’s said to have been authored by Master Cooks to King Richard II.
For a long time, rice pudding was only enjoyed by the aristocracy. Rice was expensive and considered a luxurious import from the East. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 18th century that ingredients started to become more affordable, making rice accessible to the working class. By the 1920s, it was being served to Victorian schoolchildren as a low-cost, nutritional breakfast – and it’s not changed much since then.
Slow cooker rice pudding recipe
Creamy rice pudding can be flavoured and sweetened with sugars and vanilla extract and dusted with the likes of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. And if you’d like to chuck in some dried fruits, like currants, you’ll give the whole dish a new tasty texture. Why not add a lump of jam, or some maple syrup? Decisions, decisions… the choice is all yours.
Ingredients (serves four)
- Knob of butter
- 140g short-grain rice
- 600ml pints of milk (alternatives, like almond milk will work, too)
- 600ml double cream
- 50g sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon or nutmeg for dusting
- A handful of dried fruits (optional)
- Jam, compote or maple syrup to serve (optional)
Steps for making rice pudding in a slow cooker
- Rinse your rice thoroughly with cold water and drain well
- Grease the inside of your slow cooker with the butter, and chuck in the rice, milk, sugar, vanilla, cream and mix everything together with a wooden spoon
- Pop the lid on and cook on high for 30 minutes, and then give everything a good stir
- Recover and cook for three hours, stirring occasionally
- Turn the slow cooker off, stir in your dried fruits (if you’re using any) and let everything cool down before dishing it out
How you serve your rice pudding is up to you. We like a dusting of ground cinnamon or nutmeg, just as much as we enjoy a dollop of jam or a squidge of maple syrup.
What should you line a slow cooker with?
Depending on what you’re cooking, you can line your slow cooker with various things, including parchment paper/baking paper, butter, oil, or foil. Parchment paper is particularly helpful if you’re using your slow cooker to bake something like a cake. It will prevent the dough from sticking, and it’ll make it much easier to lift the whole thing out in one go. However, for most slow cooker recipes, you don’t have to line the ceramic dish with anything, as it’s designed to be non-stick.
Can you reheat food in a slow cooker?
If you’ve got leftovers in the freezer to use up – like a stew, a curry, or a chilli con carne – you can reheat them in the slow cooker. As the slow cooker gently heats its contents, it’s great for warming up leftovers. Once your dish begins to defrost, give it a stir so everything warms through evenly, and it’ll gradually simmer back to life. Easy peasy.
Explore more rice recipes, both savoury and sweet, by heading through to our recipe hub right here.
Can you make rice pudding in an air fryer?
While we wouldn’t recommend this as the best option it is doable! Rice pudding works best in an air fryer when you are able to set it to a pressure cooker setting. Similar to the slow cooker method, wash your rice, place all your ingredients inside the air fryer and allow to cook for up to 25 mins. Equally you can place your pudding into a ramekin, cover with foil and cook in the air fryer too. Check out our air fryer guide here.