Destinations Magazine

Pudding of Kings

By Lwblog @londonwalks
Pudding of KingsAnn’s on the food march again this Saturday…
“Now that I’m an experienced jam maker (see my previous blog) I’ve been finding ways to eat it all. And as winter seems to be setting in, thoughts turn to puddings. What is rice pudding without a spoonful of jam? I’m talking of course about a proper English rice pudding, baked slowly in the oven, with a golden brown skin on top. What my great uncle called the tarpaulin –I thought that was a family term until I read the same word in a rice pudding recipe from the wonderful Simon Hopkinson.
Although the ingredients are simple and thrifty enough – pudding rice, milk, sugar, butter and perhaps nutmeg – the secret is the slow cooking which produces a creamy pudding, not a solid mass you could use to stick bricks together. My father (a keen cook and chemist) provided detailed instructions –‘2 hours at gas mark 2, stir after 30 minutes, use a traditional pudding bowl for best results. You must watch it.’
Skimmed milk won’t give you that luscious mouth feel and the golden skin, so use full cream milk, perhaps add some cream, or even follow Delia and use some evaporated milk.
No other country produces a rice pudding like ours, and there are almost as many variations as there are national flags. In France, you would expect creamy rice boiled in milk and made into a mold with gelatine, with optional additions of candied fruit and kirsch. In Italy, rice cooked in milk then baked with eggs and chopped peel into a kind of rice cake. Malaysia and Thailand – sticky rice with coconut milk, served cold with mango. The Middle East – rice simmered in a saucepan with milk, with sugar, cardamom and rose water added at the end, and kheer, a similar dish in India, decorated with silver or gold foil for special occasions (you can buy the foil in Southall).
All these rice recipes appear on menus in fashionable restaurants. But perhaps it’s time for the renaissance of the English rice pudding? I’m looking forward to trying a packet of lavender rice pudding I bought – rice, sugar, and dried lavender flowers. Should be good with apricot jam – or Turkish rose petal jam if you want to keep the flower theme.
For more foodie thoughts, join my Foodie Walk on Saturday, September 17, 10 am at Monument tube, Fish St. Hill exit."
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