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Rice Pudding

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Preparation time: 45 to 60 minutes, including boiling rice

Pots needed: One saucepan, 3 quarts or more in size. For well-cooked rice, be sure to use a pot with a heavy lid, such as a cast iron pot. As it cooks, the rice will produce a lot of foam within the first few minutes, and if your lid isn't secure this will likely spill out of your pot and onto the stovetop burner. A heavy lid will prevent this and, even more importantly, it thoroughly pressure-cooks the rice so that your result will be minimum sticking and large individual saturated grains of rice.

Add water to saucepan, cover the pan, and bring the water to a roiling boil. Add rice and stir it in. Bring the stovetop heat down to low. Cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for 18 minutes. Do not uncover the pot and do not stir the rice; just let it simmer. (That's how to cook rice.)

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While the rice is simmering, beat the eggs in a small bowl. This is best done beforehand, because it will be difficult to prepare the eggs while the rice pudding is being stirred.

After 17 to 18 minutes, uncover the pot and stir the rice to fluff it up. Don't remove the rice from the pot. Raise the stovetop heat to medium. Add milk, 3/4 cup sugar, salt. Now you will need to stir the rice slowly and constantly for 20 to 30 minutes: do not stop stirring the rice for more than a few seconds if possible. (On a gas stove with direct flame, you'll only need to stir it for 20 minutes. :) )This will keep the rice and milk from burning and reduce the liquid, resulting in a thick, sweet pudding.

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Stir in cream, beaten eggs, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and raisins. Mix it all in and continue stirring for another 5 to 10 minutes, until you feel the pudding is at the right consistency. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is melted. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top of the pudding.

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This dish can be served while hot, though if you let it sit for 10 minutes it will thicken into a wonderful pudding.

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See also: Baked Rice Pudding