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Rice Pudding with Rum Raisins
Rice Pudding with Rum Raisins Photo courtesy of Ed Anderson

Inspiration can strike in the most curious of places. For chef Slade Rushing, a pint of his favorite Häagen-Dazs ice cream resulted in a new take on rice pudding. In Southern Comfort, the cookbook Rushing coauthored with his wife, chef Allison Vines-Rushing, the New Orleans-based chef teaches home cooks how to make a dense, toothsome rice pudding. His time-tested tricks include using short-grain Japanese rice and precooking it before adding the milky pudding base. A generous spoonful of rum-soaked raisins completes the creamy dessert and hints at the chef’s ice-cream muse.

Makes 4 servings

Rum Raisins

1 cup golden raisins

½ cup dark rum

¼ cup sugar


Rice Pudding

8 cups water


4 ounces short-grain rice (such as Japanese rice)

1¾ cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean--pod split and scraped, seeds reserved

½ cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

1. Make the raisins: In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine the raisins with the rum and sugar. Add enough water to cover the raisins and cook until the raisins are plump, about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.

2. Make the pudding: In a large saucepan, combine the water with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Whisk in the rice and return to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until the rice is cooked through, about 14 minutes. Strain the rice into a colander, then return it to the same saucepan. Add the milk, the heavy cream and the vanilla bean pod and seeds, then bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until smooth. Slowly whisk ½ cup of the hot rice mixture into the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from curdling. Add the yolks to the rice mixture and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and the cream coats the back of the spoon, about 6 minutes.

4. Fill a large bowl with ice. Pour the rice pudding into a separate bowl and place it on the ice to cool quickly. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard. Once cool, divide the rice pudding among four bowls. Divide the rum raisins and their liquid among the bowls and serve immediately.



Reprinted with permission from "Southern Comfort: A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With" by Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”

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