Staying Cool in the Kitchen-Slow Cooker Lemon Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

Some people think of rice pudding as a winter dessert, both warm and comforting, but I like it all year long. This recipe is made in the slow cooker. I got the original recipe from a relative several years ago. I do not know the source, but I have adjusted it to become my own. I have found that when I make rice pudding in the slow cooker, it appears very creamy at the end of cooking. But once it cools it is more dense. I tend to like fluffy rice pudding. My method for dealing with the lack of fluffiness is to fold in sweetened whipped cream just before serving, then top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. This recipe is flavored with lemon and vanilla, but feel free to adjust it to your liking. I have also made it with orange, cardamom, and nutmeg with good results. Lime and coconut could work also. Folding in white or semisweet chocolate is a possibility as well. You can also top it with an apricot, blueberry, or cherry sauce if desired. I use a slow cooker liner bag for this recipe because it eliminates time-consuming cleanup.

Slow Cooker Lemon Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding – serves 15
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 medium cinnamon sticks
4 (2 inch) strips lemon zest
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
6 c. + 1 1/2 c. whole milk
2 c. + 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling and or nutmeg

Place slow cooker liner in a 5 quart slow cooker. Add rice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest, and salt. Add 6 cups milk and 2 cups heavy cream. Stir with a whisk gently to dissolve sugar. Be careful not to tear the liner. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the milk mixture and add the bean pod. Stir to spread the vanilla seeds. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. In a bowl combine remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour into rice mixture stirring constantly. Cover and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove pudding to a bowl, cover and chill. Just before serving whip remaining cream with sugar and vanilla to taste. Fold whipped cream into rice pudding. Garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Lemon Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

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