RECIPE: Grandma’s Simple Rice Pudding

I grew up in Ontario and the first time I remember seeing Nova Scotia, I was in Blue Rocks.

My grandparents had rented a cottage on the ocean and I was about 7 years old. It seemed wild and remote. I was convinced there were warrior mermaids and mischievous selkies waiting for me just under the surface of the rock and waves.

The house we rented was ancient to my eyes, full of antiques and unique cubby holes and secrets.  From my point of view, it all seemed very magical and I was grateful to have my grandparents there who seemed wise in the mysterious ways of the world and understood this place.

My grandmother has always made amazing pies and I’m sure we enjoyed at least one that trip, I can’t remember if we had rice pudding though. 

As I’ve been digging into handwritten recipes from across Nova Scotia, a few favourites emerge and I see them over and over.  Rice Pudding is one of the classics I have seen many variations for. 

My grandmother recently requested that I try to recreate a recipe she used to make early in her marriage. 

A simple rice pudding, made only with milk, rice and sugar. 

I’ve added a few more ingredients to give it more flavour but it remains the simplest version of this classic pudding, just stir and bake!

We love to serve it warm, with a dash of cinnamon. 

There are more and more fruits to be found at Farmer’s Markets now that we are into August.

The chilled pudding is extra special served with fresh fruit and a little sprinkle of grated dark chocolate.

Check out the West Dublin Market at 10 Huey Lake Road, West Dublin in the West Dublin Community Hall every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12 noon for seasonal selections or a market near you! 

Grandma’s Rice Pudding

Serves 4

3 cups whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup white Arborio or Sushi rice

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). 

2. In a 3L oven safe bowl or casserole dish stir together the milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt until all the sugar is dissolved.  If the sugar isn’t all dissolving, allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and stir again.  

3. Add the rice and stir until combined. Cover the bowl with parchment paper and tin foil to create a lid, or place a lid on your casserole dish. 

4. Bake for 90 minutes (this is an excellent time to also use the oven to roast a chicken or a squash).  

5. Remove from the oven.  The milk will be bubbling but it will still look very wet. Allow the pudding to sit at room temperature for at least an hour. 

6. Serve the pudding warm sprinkled with a little cinnamon or refrigerate for 2-3 hours to enjoy it chilled. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *