Individual Baked Rice Puddings with Nutmeg & Ginger

This week needed to end with a wee ramekin of baked rice pudding, and some red wine, and a good book. If I had it my way all Sunday nights would wind down like this.

The week culminated in a dinner party at the home of a couple who purchased me at a silent auction at a fundraiser a year or so ago, and so wanting to pull off a fun evening, I made curried sweet potato, carrot, ginger & red lentil soup, prawns in fenugreek cream, and enlisted their help (there was an element of teaching in the evening) in assembling a large batch of the Nenshi family samosas. For the main course: Vij’s chicken curry, chana masala, roasted cauliflower, curried peas and paneer, spiced beef short ribs, homemade naan and marinated green beans. For dessert, vanilla & ginger crème brûlée (great recipe, but I cut the sugar in half and it was plenty sweet) with Tonka bean shortbread. There were leftovers, and so my family came for dinner tonight.

Rather than replicate the crème brûlée (I couldn’t face another 10 egg whites in the freezer) I recalled a recipe for individual baked rice puddings I had wanted to try. The method could not be more simple – set out as many ramekins as you want rice puddings (if you set them on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat, they won’t slip around) and get out a bag of short-grain rice, some sugar and milk or cream and your measuring spoons.

Put a heaping tablespoon of short-grain (Arborio) rice, two teaspoons of sugar and a half cup of milk or cream (half & half or heavy – it’s up to you) in each ramekin. I had infused my cream with ginger already, which is to say I put it into a saucepan with a few slices of fresh ginger and turned up the heat until it was steaming. You could do this if you like. If so, strain out the ginger or pick out the slices with your fingers. (Don’t burn yourself.) These ramekins? Two for $1.25 at Dollarama.

The recipe says to grate a little nutmeg over each after adding the milk. I like this. But if you plan to pull off the pudding skin, you’ll lose much of the nutmeg, too. Next time I’ll grate it over the rice and sugar before pouring over the milk or cream. You could add a bit of vanilla, as well as or instead of. Or use brown sugar for a more caramelly rice pud. Flavour them however you like, really.

Bake them at 325°F for an hour. I love that you could bake one of these, or two, or ten, it doesn’t matter. If you have a cake or loaf baking, you could tuck a few into the oven alongside. They will puff up, then sink back down. The edges of the ramekins will wind up coated with caramelized milk.

Once they settle back, they will be warm and thick and sweet – at this point, the recipe instructs pulling off the golden rice pudding skin. This is like the dessert equivalent of pulling the skin off a roasted chicken and eating it yourself.

Add about a tablespoon (feel free to free-pour) of cream to each ramekin and stir it in; this will loosen it up a bit and make it far creamier. At this point you could stir in a few raisins, if you’re that type. Eat it warm or chill it, or chill it and then brûlée it – sprinkle a layer of sugar over and torch it or run it under the broiler until it caramelizes, then chill until it’s hard enough to crack a spoon through. You could conceivably have a stash of these single-serving puddings in the fridge, and brûlée one or two each night as needed. Apply directly to face; repeat.

I love too that you don’t need a recipe for these; I can imagine years down the road making these little rice puddings on autopilot, tucking them into the oven (or toaster oven) when dessert is called for. Or breakfast. Or a warm and comforting after-school snack.

While I have your attention – I was thinking we should have another get-together. The mother of all cookie exchanges! What do you think? A cookie party to follow the pie party?

I’m thinking Saturday the 10th. Save the date! Or at least a couple hours in the afternoon.


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43 comments on “Individual Baked Rice Puddings with Nutmeg & Ginger

  1. Erica B.
    November 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Love the idea of a nice warm rice pudding in this weather!

    As for the 10th, fantastic idea! and for once I can make it!!! Now, what to bake? 🙂

  2. Wendy
    November 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Those individual rice puddings look terrific!! This would be a stellar idea for someone like me who lives with a bunch of people who actually don’t like rice pudding (it takes all kinds right, but really!) Thanks for the idea – can’t wait to try it.

    Somehow managed to miss the pie party, but am all for a monster cookie exchange if you are brave enough to go for it. Should be fun!

  3. Carolyn
    November 28, 2011 at 4:55 am

    I love, love this recipe for rice pudding. I’m the only one in my house who likes it, so it doesn’t get made unless I’m up for eating lots. Now, if you could only come up with a recipe for individual date squares (same problem)!

    Could the cookie exchange also be virtual – could people share their recipes on-line? I would love to be at and participate in your exchange, but a trip to Calgary for a cookie exchange won’t happen.

  4. bev
    November 28, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I’m feeling a bit whiny that I’m too far away for the tenth, but Carolyn’s idea would make me feel better! I HAVE been taste-testing for the perfect gingerbread cookie…

  5. Anita
    November 28, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I’m totally into a cookie exchange. I can’t do the evening of the 10th, but the afternoon or morning works.

  6. Megan
    November 28, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I’ve never liked rice pudding but these look yummy! and easy to try since you don’t have to make an enormous amount of it!

  7. Sue
    November 28, 2011 at 10:57 am

    If I lived closer I’d be at your cookie exchange! Sounds fun. I’m super jealous. Can’t wait for pictures & recipes!

  8. Clea
    November 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I’m in for the cookie party!

  9. Sue. D
    November 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I adore rice pudding – love the idea of having an emergency stash. And brûléeing them is so brilliant!

  10. Colleen
    November 28, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I missed the pie party but would love to attend a cookie exhchange. I made these really good choc. chip cookies with cinammon, coffee and cayenne pepper this weekend. Not really Christmassy but very good. They might do.

  11. Kathy
    November 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Hi Julie, depends what time in the afternoon of the 10th for me, we have a christmas party starting at 4 pm that day. If the exchange is earlier, I’m in. How many cookies each do we bake ?

  12. Inventive Vegan
    November 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    These look so delicious! Nice pictures!

  13. CathyH
    November 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Apply directly to face!!! Love that. So sorry to miss
    another party, but California is calling.

  14. Lindsay
    November 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Hey, these look fantastic! Any idea if these would work with eggnog instead of milk/cream? I’m on an eggnog kick right now.

  15. Jan @ Family Bites
    November 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Julie, you’re brilliant! I love the look of these….

  16. Christina
    November 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Oh my goodness I can finally make it to this one!! I’m SO excited!!! December 10th is officially saved!!

  17. CanadyAnna
    November 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    So how many cookies do we need? I am trying to reduce the overall output here since they are rather like the pud – except I might as well apply them directly to my hips instead of face.

    Odis the dog has a visit to people in the hospital that day, so timing could be interesting to get us in and out with dog and back in to Calgary with cookies – did you have a time in mind?

  18. AJDoula
    November 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I love rice pudding and am the only one in my family who does. Now I can make some just for me, without feeling that I have to eat a whole bowl – a sacrifice I have made in the past!

    Love the idea of the cookie exchange – I’m in! I’m happy to be your helper monkey, should you need it.

  19. CathyH
    November 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Made these tonight and mine turned out picture perfect like yours!!!!

    Thank you Julie!

  20. suchalab
    November 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    would love to on the 10th, guess details will many cookies do we bring? SUch FUN!

  21. Trinh
    November 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I’m excited for the cookie exchange!

  22. Andrea @ Roadhouse Roast
    November 29, 2011 at 1:02 am

    This was always a staple at our house. These look delicious.

  23. Melissa W
    November 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

    You know… I always manage to be out of town when these get-togethers are happening. This time, it’s Christmas party in Banff. Which, in itself is happy, but I am sad to miss yet another gathering.

    But if there turns out to be an online exchange I will happily participate in that, and hope to participate in person for the next get-together!

  24. Shelley A
    November 29, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I would love to participate in a neighbourhood cookie exchange. We will be uable to this year, but if you are starting a Ramsay list, please contact me. Perhaps we could have a semi-annual baking exchange??? I can always find reasons to bring out the baking! Love to hear you on the radio – so practical!

  25. Vincci
    November 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Yumm… how did you know I *love* rice pudding? Also, that dinner sounds superb – *SO* much food! Would love to come for the cookie exchange, though a little daunted by the prospect of making batches and batches of cookies (even if they are the same one!) My cousin is cooking a turducken that night at his apartment and I’m sure him and his friends will appreciate all the cookies for dessert!

  26. Lauren O.
    November 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Definitely count me in for a cookie exchange! I’m always up for baking – especially around Christmas! 🙂 So exciting!

  27. Nurse Jenn
    November 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I was just in a baking exchange, but depending on the numbers required to bring, I could be interested.

  28. Sharon
    November 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Oh wow, this is such a neat idea!! Love rice pudding!! Will put this on my list of must try recipes now!!

  29. Trudi S
    November 30, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I tried the rice puddings and mine totally didn’t turn out like your picture. Wondering…was the cream you added warmed first. Mine was runny and just wouldn’t thicken up like your showed….is there any egg in the recipe? Help????

  30. Ashley
    November 30, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Love this idea for rice puddings! I wish I could come to the cookie party. 🙂

  31. Heather
    November 30, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I have those exact same ramekins! There are some really good deals at Dollarama (which is the better of the dollar stores imo. )

  32. the other Al
    November 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    i made a large rice pudding(you planted the idea) but used eggnog instead if cream. I didn’t add any extra sugar,just vanilla. turned out superb! im in for cookie exchange…

  33. JulieVR
    December 1, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Trudi – no, no egg in it! and the cream wasn’t warmed.. I’m not sure what might have happened? Did you use short grain rice, or long grain? short grain rice releases more starch, so is best for rice puddings. Might that be what happened?

  34. Trudi S
    December 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks for answering Julie….I’m going to try it with short grain rice this time, and see what happens. Mine was tasty, just too runny to eat with a spoon!! Trudi

  35. Carol SB
    December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Yeah! Cookie exchange!
    Looking forward to it, dear girl.
    BTW– just had your peanut butter hot chocolate for supper (lost a filling: dental appointment pending, but a sippy supper was JUST the thing). I was glad of your immersion blender tip: it was fabulous. I made the whole (3 cup +) recipe, fool that I am: will take a jar to the neighbors’ house when I finish typing here. I need to get it OUT of my house!

  36. Rebecca
    December 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Julie! I ssosooooooo want to come and hang
    out with you and eat food with you and all you cool bloggy pals. A trip to Calgary is in the works for early summer, so I’m hoping you’ll still be inviting the Internet over when I’m in “town”! Enjoy the party and I’ll bake (and eat) a big batch of cookies in your honour!

  37. HCG
    December 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Rice pudding-one of my favorite desserts!

  38. Lesli C-Kellow
    December 4, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I like the idea of these little rice puddings – they look so nicely baked. Cookie exchanges are fun! 🙂

  39. Kim
    December 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I also tried it and my rice didnt cook. Perhaps because I used Calrose rice? or maybe my oven is wonky. new oven > new house > new city > new province!

  40. JulieVR
    December 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Carolyn & Bev – yes of course we can do a virtual exchange too! I’ll come up with some details and post it tonight – we can do it in sync with the real one on Saturday!

  41. Dianne
    November 11, 2022 at 4:17 pm

    My husband is stuck in the 60s (foodwise) and asked me to make him some rice pudding. I never made it cuz I don’t like it. This recipe is perfect as I can make as many or few as I want, and I’m cooking them in my air fryer. Fingers crossed they come out OK!

  42. Gavin
    January 8, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    I do realise I am very, very late to the party. By, like, a decade. However, I was searching the internet for a rice pudding that used Arborio, because here in the UK rice puddings are made with ‘pudding rice’ and if you use anything else all your cooking ancestors will rise out of their graves and haunt you.
    So, I made a few experiments and can I just say –
    Add some dried fruit with the rice at the start. Not a lot. I tend to go for a muesli-top mix sold here that is one-third each flame raisins, golden raisins, and pineapple-juice sweetened cranberries.
    If you’re going the cranberry route, a couple of scrapes on the grater of orange zest does no harm at all.
    When adding the milk, per individual serving a coffee-spoonful of Pedro Ximenes sherry.
    Don’t brûlée it when cold, sift a very little vanilla sugar over the top before you slide it in the oven.
    Served hot, this once drew spontaneous applause fro a table of 12.

    Gavin, Manchester UK

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