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Perfect rice pudding or riz au lait


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Have tried everything possible to eradicate a residual chalky taste so as to make a perfect rice pudding.

L'Ami Jean in Paris sets the barrier fairly high for this simple dish - every grain melting into a tender almost nothing in the delicious creamy ambrosio that arrives in an almost indecently sized serving.

I've tried everything - washing the grains before cooking, not washing the grains, really long slow cooking (2 hours at 90 centigrade), moderately fast cooking (30 minutes at higher temperature, adding sugar at different times, using skim milk to using creamy milk, adding the rice when milk is hot or adding it when cold.

Maybe I should look for a rice with a lower starch level - any suggestions please?

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Have tried everything possible to eradicate a residual chalky taste so as to make a perfect rice pudding.

L'Ami Jean in Paris sets the barrier fairly high for this simple dish - every grain melting into a tender almost nothing in the delicious creamy ambrosio that arrives in an almost indecently sized serving.

I've tried everything - washing the grains before cooking, not washing the grains, really long slow cooking (2 hours at 90 centigrade), moderately fast cooking (30 minutes at higher temperature, adding sugar at different times, using skim milk to using creamy milk, adding the rice when milk is hot or adding it when cold.

Maybe I should look for a rice with a lower starch level - any suggestions please?

What type of rice are you using? Starch is partly what makes rice pudding creamy.

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THanks for quick response.

Currently using Bosto dessert rice - a widely available commercial brand in continental Europe.

The box says nothing about its origin nor mentions a particular variety.

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I normally use Calrose but soak it in cold water for at least an hour and rinse it several times.

However the best rice pudding I have prepared in recent years was made with the Carolina gold rice from Anson Mills.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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From the rice suggestions above it is clear that people expect very different textures from rice pudding... You might want to make a taste test using very different types of rice: some sort of risotto rice vs. a long grain rice such as basmatti for instance. That said, I don't know much about desert rice; someone else might be able to provide better suggestions.

There might be other avenues to explore too:

Do you use eggs in your rice pudding? These can add a certain level of creamyness in small amounts.

How much fat do you use? I've seen recipes calling for full fat cream.

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Thanks for all these useful comments - they will go into the pot in one form or another.

In the meantime I've discovered via a bit of digging elsewhere on eGullet (Food Snob in France Dining) that the legendary riz au lait ‘grand-mère’ at L'Ami Jean is made with a paella rice called "bomba", a premium-quality short grain, starchy rice from Valencia.

Back to the kitchen this weekend.

Edited by kerriar (log)
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From the rice suggestions above it is clear that people expect very different textures from rice pudding... You might want to make a taste test using very different types of rice: some sort of risotto rice vs. a long grain rice such as basmatti for instance. That said, I don't know much about desert rice; someone else might be able to provide better suggestions.

There might be other avenues to explore too:

Do you use eggs in your rice pudding? These can add a certain level of creamyness in small amounts.

How much fat do you use? I've seen recipes calling for full fat cream.

My recipe is relatively low-fat. The rice is cooked slowly in 2 percent milk. Then the pudding gets finished using 1 egg yolk and a small amount of half and half. I don't use a lot of butter or cream in my cooking, so for me this is rich enough and the texture is very creamy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i make my rice pudding with rice flour.....

you can either buy rice flour, or if you have a burr grinder (i happen to have a spare coffee grinder) you can mill you can make your own rice flour out of any rice you want.

i have made rice pudding with red Himalayan rice (you get pink pudding), and black "Forbidden" rice (you get lavender/blue pudding) with nice result.

I use a turkish recipe for the pudding (Muhallebi)

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i use arborio, thicken with yolks, and add a few scoops of really good vanilla ice cream while its cooling down, theres no chalky taste in mine

That is as much of a great cheat as my recipe from and old job...egg yolks and a box of vanilla pudding mix...that went into a hotel pan of rice pudding though

we used Uncle Ben's converted rice at that store

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  • 7 months later...

Over the holidays I tried bomba spanish rice and got exactly the results required - it turned out just as close as I am ever likely to get to L'Ami Jean's Riz au lait ‘grand-mère’ en service, confiture de lait which for me is the benchmark .

Bomba (which L'Ami Jean use) is an organic paella rice and can be sourced on-line from La Tienda (they deliver in Europa and North America - their service is personal and efficient). I found it will absorb up to four times its volume in liquid with the grains gradually becoming softer but retaining their shape as they start to melt.

The riz au lait was cooked in a slow oven (90°c) for about and hour and a half and extra milk (sometimes a little cream) added as needed.

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  • 10 months later...

L'ami Jean's recipe is now available on-line on a few different sites, such as here

I've tried it and it really does produce the smoothest, silkyest, creamyest, etc results. It's also surprisingly simple.

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Growing up in England, rice pudding played an important role in dinners/desserts and was always (in my family) served hot straight from the oven with a caramelized, toasty skin. There were no additions of raisins, compote, dried fruit, etc., just a rich, steaming, milky presentation while everyone fought over the crispy skin.

My go-to recipe for many years has been Patricia Wells' Riz au Lait - her additions of citrus zest and vanilla bean enhances this great rice pudding. It's the perfect not-feeling-well food and good-for-what-ails-you food. I've never been able to wrap my mind around rice pudding served cold - but that's a family-memory-thing.

Edited to add that I've never experienced a chalky flavour and the recipe calls for simple long-grain rice.

Edited by Rover (log)
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