food: eleanore’s rice pudding


While driving home from swim class with little A. last week (already hungry even though ‘swim class’ with a baby actually requires very little exercise on my part) on a grey and rainy morning, I was thinking about what would be good for lunch. I had a quick flash of a memory of my grandmother taking her rice pudding out of the oven, and that was all I needed to set me off in search of her recipe. A little over an hour later, everyone was enjoying a warm and cozy lunchtime treat.




While I would say this is a Scandinavian recipe (my grandmother was Swedish), I think that most cultures have a similar dish in their repertoire. For example, our dear Peruvian friend has brought a chilled rice cream dish for brunch that has much less sugar, but included Grand Marnier and Curaçao.

This dish is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even as a side for dinner. My grandmother would often serve this with ham for an excellent sweet and savory meal. Here is her recipe.



(serves 6-8)


3/4 cup rice (rinsed)

2 quarts whole milk

4 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla


butter (for greasing dish)

1/4 cup raisins (optional)

- preheat oven to 350˚

- cook rice and 1 quart of milk in double boiler until rice has absorbed the milk- stir often while cooking.

- beat eggs together with the remaining quart of milk, sugar, salt and vanilla.

- put the warm rice into a buttered casserole dish (around 3 qt.- you want some depth to the dish, but also don’t want it to spill over in the oven) and then pour over the egg/milk mixture. stir in the raisins, if you wish.

- sprinkle cinnamon on top before baking in the oven for 1 hour. let cool for about 15 minutes before serving, to allow the custard layer on top to set.

- serve alone or with jam.




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