Best ever brown rice pudding with orange zest

Creamy Rice Pudding with a Twist

After returning from a walk last night and proceeding to consume about three bowls of rice pudding, that was cooling on the top of  the stove, as I loaded the dishwasher and caught the end of Modern Family, I concluded that I had hit upon the ultimate comfort food: one foot in the carb realm, one foot in the dessert realm; so basic it that it could successfully be fed to a toddler. The definitive nature of this conclusion would never have been reached had I stopped at two bowls.

In keeping with a general strategy to eliminate white grains entirely and convinced that whole grain everything will ultimately feel like the new normal, I went with brown rice.

Yesterday’s Facebook post promised an attempt at Chai Rice Pudding (which basically meant a solid dose of cinnamon, nutmeg, dried ginger and orange zest). The result of my attempt to make a good thing better was a realization that I had gone too far off the grid. It was good, but in the future, I’m going to stick to a little vanilla and a lot of orange zest, which has proven to be far beyond good. Here’s that recipe.

One important note: Making rice pudding on the stove takes forever, so I usually only do so if I have something else going on in the kitchen to keep me from getting too bored or impatient.


  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • zest of one large orange


  • Rinse rice and combine with two cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high. Cover and continue cooking until most of the water is absorbed.
  • Add 5 cups of milk and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, stirring very frequently for 20 minutes.
  • Whisk 2 eggs together in a small bowl, and slowly pour 1/2 cup of the hot milk from the rice into the eggs, continuing to stir.
  • Slowly pour the eggs and milk mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly. Add sugar and orange zest. Continue stirring. Once milk is almost completely absorbed, add 1 cup of half and half (or another cup of milk) and 1 cup of raisins.
  • Stir for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Pudding will continue to set as it cools.

Serve warm or cold.