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Monday, April 14, 2014

Rizogalo (Rice Pudding)

I think it would be safe to say that Rice Pudding could be one of our world's ultimate comfort food.  You can find variations on this luscious treat in nearly every part of the world.  A creamy delight, of rice, some form of milk or water, spices and/or flavorings, and some sort of sweetener.  The Greek version is sprinkled with cinnamon and flavored with vanilla or mastic (A resin from the Mastic Tree. It has a slightly pine or cedar like flavor.)

My mother would make this dessert quite often because it always brought about good childhood memories of her life in Greece.  I've tried to recreate her recipe here.


4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
A pinch of nutmeg
2/3 cups arborio rice (a short grain rice)
3 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract


It is best to use a heavy bottom pot to make this dessert but if you don't just stir a little more often to
make sure the rice doesn't get lumpy or stuck on the bottom.

Pour milk, sugar and the salt into the pot and heat until it is nearly boiling.  Stir the milk and don't leave it unattended.   Add the rice and pinch of nutmeg.
I like to grate it fresh into the pot.

Once the rice mixture comes to a boil, turn down the heat to medium low.  Cook for around 30 minutes until all the grains of rice have cooked and absorbed the sweet milk.

Turn the heat off and allow it to cool slightly.  
Next separate eggs, save the whites for another dish.

3 egg yolks
Whip the eggs until creamy.   Next you must temper the eggs with the warm milky rice so they do not curdle.   One ladle full while whipping, add another ladle full of the milky rice and then pour into the pot and stir to mix thoroughly.

Turn heat back on, keep stirring until thickened and it coats the back of the spoon.
 Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
 Add vanilla extract.
Pour into small bowls or a large glass container.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and cover to cool in the refrigerator.