Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

I’ve talked about my strange milk habits before.  Well, I don’t think they’re very strange, it’s just that I don’t like drinking milk, so whenever I buy it, which is pretty much every week, I have to figure out how to use it up.

Because if there’s one thing I hate, it’s letting food go to waste.  Pancakes and other skillet fodder are usually my go-tos for using up milk, but one time, I made a big mistake when buying milk.

I forgot what month it was, and instead of buying milk I thought would last for two weeks, I bought some that expired in two days.  I’m sooo smart sometimes.

Thankfully I only buy quarts at a time, so I had four cups of milk to work with.  Of course, my first thought was pudding.  Browsing through my recipe cache, I decided this one was definitely worth a try.

I had never made rice pudding before, but I’m always up for trying new things.  I didn’t have Arborio rice, so I substituted short grain sushi rice.  You need to use short grain or Arborio in rice pudding so the rice maintains its shape and doesn’t turn into mush in the cooking process.

I loved the spices in the pudding too.  It tastes like sweet, custardy chai tea.  Deliciousness all over.

Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

Adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes

Makes 8-10 servings, depending on container size

1 cup arborio (or short grain) rice
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 whole cloves
4 cups water
1 egg
3 cups whole milk
one 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp allspice

Soak the rice, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest and cloves in the water in a tall, heavy saucepan for 1 hour.

After soaking, remove cloves and cinnamon sticks and bring the rice mixture to a boil on high heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil (about 5 minutes), lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.

While rice is cooking, beat the egg in a bowl. Add the milk and stir well to mix. Add the egg mixture, condensed milk, salt, vanilla extract and spices to the rice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, about 25 to 35 minutes. The grains should be coming to the surface of the pudding and you’ll feel some resistance when you stir. Several cups of liquid will have evaporated. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes–it will thicken considerably once taken off the heat.  Pour into ramekins or mason jars and allow to cool to room temperature.  Store in the refrigerator.

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