Custard pudding appeared on tables regularly from before 1900 to after 1940. It was considered a healthy way to use milk and eggs. Custard was an easy-to-digest food for invalids. (You can still get custard pudding in the U.S. hospitals if you’re lucky.) And frankly, it was — and continues to be — delicious. Sue makes Rice Custard Pudding for her 20th cooking lesson. This is a recipe she will be making for the rest of her life.
(This is the 20th lesson from the book When Sue Began to Cook. If you are just now joining us, clicking the book title will transport you back to Lesson 1 so you don’t miss any of the evolving story.)
Sue plans to serve her pudding for dessert after dinner, but this also made a respectable breakfast dish. Her friend Ruth Ann takes hers home directly, perhaps for a special luncheon treat.
Notes from Sue’s Rice Custard Pudding Diary
“When I’m big and have a hosue of my own, I’m going to have boiled rice — lots of it — about once a week, because you can make the most fascinating things out of what is left over!” I told Ruth Ann this morning. “There’s Spanish Rice and Rice Custard Pudding, and Rice Croquettes (only we haven’t learned how to make them yet), and Green Peppers Stuffed with Rice…”
“The only sad part about that plan,” said Ruth Ann, “Is the plain boiled rice the first day. Who wants to eat that? Not I!” And she looked very scornful.
“Boiled rice isn’t so bad,” laughed Mother, “if it’s well made. It must be soft and good, not too dry, and every grain must stand out distinctly. Why, I think it’s quite a delicacy! But it does have to be good and warm, and have some melted butter on the top. And then of course there must be plenty of cream to eat with it.”
“Or gravy!” said Robin, who was hanging around as usual. “Let’s have the girls make gravy for their next lesson!”
“You act as if our cooking lessons ought to be planned just for you!” I exclaimed. “I’m learning to cook so that I can help Mother run the house —”
“Well, I’m part of the house, ain’t I?” said Robin.
I ignored the remark. “And Ruth Ann’s learning how so she can help her Mother.”
“And Mother likes plain boiled rice; I remember now!” said Ruth Ann with shining eyes. “Aunt Betty, I will learn to like it, and to make it your way!”
Rice Custard Pudding
- 2 eggs lightly beaten together
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups milk
- 1¼ cup boiled rice Mother had this left over.
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- ½ cup raisins looked over and washed
- Mother had us each take a big mixing bowl and break our eggs into it. Then we beat them up very light with a Dover egg beater.
- When they were light enough we measured the sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, boiled rice, melted butter and raisins. (We looked over the raisins first of all, and washed them by holding them in a little colander under the cold water faucet. We let the water run throuigh them for quite a little while and we stirred them around.)
- We dumped all of these things, one by one, in the mixing bowl, and stirred them all up together.
- Then Mother had us each butter a baking dish and pour the rice mixture into it. Then we set our baking dishes in a moderate [375 degrees F] oven and baked the Rice Custard Pudding for thirty minutes.
- When it was done, we let it get very cold. (Father says deliver him from warm rice pudding!) Ruth Ann took hers home with her. I saved mine for dinner because I wanted Father to have some.