This Christmas, my sister Karen—who has apple trees in her yard—sent us some apple butter. I decided to use in my next batch of rice pudding. Many recipes for rice pudding call for sugar, but when I use a jam in my rice pudding I usually do not add extra sugar.
Karl’s Apple Butter Rice Pudding
¾ cup uncooked Japanese short grained rice
2 cups low fat milk (I used lactose free)
½ cup Karen’s apple butter (or any apple butter)
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup half and half
4 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. apple butter per serving
1. Put the rice in a rice steamer with two cups of water and cook until done.
Tip: If you do not have a rice steamer, you may use a pot to cook your rice. However if you make rice more than twice a month it is really worth the connivance—set it and forget it. You may buy a small one for less than $20.
Note: This is more than the usual amount of water, but you want the rice to be a bit overcooked. This makes for a creamer final pudding.
2. While the rice is cooking, put the eggs into a large measuring cup and beat them well.
Tip: You need enough room in the measuring cup to hold some of the hot rice as you “temper” the egg mixture (see below).
Note: Like many dishes, like lemon curd, rice pudding is simply a custard with things added—I like custard, so I keep adding more.
3. Blend the half cup of cream into the eggs and set the mixture aside.
4. Put the two cups milk, the apple butter, and salt into a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer.
5. Stir in the cooked rice and simmer, over medium low heat, until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
Tip: Stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching.
Note: Rough handling releases more of the starch from the rice and also makes for a creamer rice pudding.
6. Spoon some of the hot rice into the egg/milk mixture to temper it.
Tip: You want your eggs to turn into a custard, not scrambled eggs.
Note: I mix the eggs in a 2 cup measuring cup and then add a few tablespoons of hot rice at a time, mixing it in, before adding a few more for a total of about ¾ of a cup.
7. Stir the warmed egg mixture into the rice in the pot.
8. Continue cook, stirring roughly and constantly, for 8-10 more minutes, until thick and creamy.
9. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla.
10. Serve warm in individual bowls with a teaspoon of apple butter on top.