Mary Jane's Rice Pudding with Cream

Course : Puddings
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1 Cup long-grain rice*
2 Cup water
1 teaspoon salt**
3/4 Cup sugar ---
3 Cup milk---*
1/2 Cup raisins---**
3 large egg yolks
1 Cup cream -- light or heavy,
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon
1 Cup heavy cream

Preparation / Directions:

*Use arborio rice for best results. **1/2 t salt ***1/2 C sugar is more than enough ****This dessert, always a favorite in our house, became *even better* when I began making it with the extra-rich milk when available. To get the same effect, add a tablespoon or two of cream to regular whole milk. Do not make rice pudding or bread pudding with skim milk. The flavors come off wrong and the smoothness doesn't develop properly. *****Raisins are optional. We leave them out, having negotiated the "Bread pudding-rice pudding truce" years ago, in which bread pudding has raisins and rice pudding does not. If you do use raisins, use the yellow ones, for a more harmonious appearance and softer taste. Combine rice, water, and salt in saucepan and simmer 3 minutes. Add sugar and milk and bring to a slow simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. [NOTE: I stir constantly, same as for risotto or custards, to prevent sticking. It doesn't mar the end product at all.] Cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until the milk is absorbed. Cool. [If you are very greedy, you can stop right here. You have an edible, creamy rice pudding; stir in the cream and heat it a bit longer for best quickie results.] Soak raisins in water until they are plump. Preheat oven to 300 deg F. Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Whisk egg yolks with cream and vanilla. Combine with cooled rice and mix well. Drain the raisins and mix with rice. Turn into baking dish and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, until set at edges but still creamy inside (about 25 minutes, [depending on your oven, do keep an eye on it]). Gently heat (microwave) 1 cup heavy cream to lukewarm and pour on top. [You can leave the nutmeg off the pudding and stir it into the cream, with a little vanilla.] [Delicious by itself or with fresh fruit such as peaches, juicy ripe strawberries, aprico

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