Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nana's baked rice custard, and enamelware...

The best comfort food in the whole wide world for me is my Nana's baked rice custard.
I grew up in the Hunter Valley with a glut of milk all around us so it was the base for every dessert she made.
After her simple weekly meal rotation she'd serve either banana custard, bread and butter custard, plain baked custard, or this smooth and creamy baked rice custard. Sometimes she'd surprise Pop and I with some jelly (jello for my US friends) on the side - Aeroplane Jelly of course - but mostly she served it sweet and simply with love and a smile.
She made it two ways. One was baked with raw rice, and the other was made from cooked rice she'd set aside on the nights she served Pop and I big steaming bowls of curried sausages on beds of the pearly grain.

When I make Nana's custards they are always baked in an enamel tin, because that's how she did it, and anything that brings my senses back to that kitchen with her bustling about in a bright apron and chatting a mile a minute about life and flowers and the cat and cricket, is precious to the little girl heart deep inside me.
Over the years I've collected a handful of genuinely vintage green enamelware pieces, plus a few modern white ones you occasionally see in the supermarket. I guess they speak 'home' to my kitchen, no matter where we live...

Would you like to make Nana's custard too?

The first version is the one Mr E likes best as it's made from cooked rice and doesn't set quite as firm so has a thick, but bit runny, consistency.

You'll need -
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of sugar
500 ml (2 cups) of full cream milk
one teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup cooked Calrose (medium grain) rice
 some soft butter to grease the pan

Lay the rice along the base of a greased (with the butter) pan.
Beat the milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla with abandon until they're all mixed smoothly and a little fluffy on top. (about 90 seconds with gusto!)
Pour the custard mix over the rice and scatter nutmeg across the top...

Sit the tin inside a larger oven-proof dish that has water in it.
I use a wide pie plate. 
Just make sure the water comes about 3/4 of the way up the side of your custard dish, ok?

Bake in the oven at 160C (320F) for around 45 minutes. There should still be a little wobble in the centre of the custard when you shake the tin gently.
 Take it out of the oven, remove from the water bath, and allow to cool completely.

Mr E likes fruit with his rice custard so I made a big bowl of fresh fruit salad from mango, kiwis, peaches, plums, and watermelon...

This was our dinner on Tuesday night.


Version 2: baked with raw Calrose rice

You'll need -
3 eggs
2 tablespoons of sugar
500 ml (2 cups) of full cream milk
one teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of RAW Calrose (medium grain) rice- soaked in water for an hour, then rinsed
 some soft butter to grease the pan

 Do everything as before, but scatter the raw rice over the base of your greased tin, and mix in three eggs instead of two.
Bake for just as long as the other.

This is a firmer custard (and it's also my favourite!).

There you are, Nana's baked rice custards - my number one comfort food.
I'd love to hear what recipe from the past makes your  heart pitter patter?
Why don't you don your apron, gather ingredients and start cooking....



Rosie said...

What can I say but.......Yum!

Anonymous said...

Yummy. For me it is my mothers lamb shank and veggie soup (my version got her 'this is good' seal of approval last week), creamed rice pudding, good old Irish Stew and most importantly her own version of fried rice - every grande and great grandie asks for 'Ann's fried rice' at all family gatherings. It must be the feeling of comfort, security, the flood of memories that wrap themselves around us, and being at peace when we smell the cooking aromas and devour the finished dish!!!

Christine M said...

I haven't had baked rice custard for years. Yours looks so yummy. I'll have to make some.

Dora, the Quilter said...

Lovely! I was unable to get to work (40 miles away) because of ice and snow today, and since I grew up on a farm with plenty of milk, cream, and eggs, (and since all evening activities have been cancelled) this sounds like the perfect comfort food for a winter's night!

Baa. xxx said...

Rice pudding! Oh, Mum's rice pudding was the best - I just can't make it like she did.

Michelle said...

Hi Jenny
I have been enjoying your year of domesticity so far, we live on a dairy farm so rice pudding is a family favourite in our house. My sister n love recently shared a new rice pudding recipe with me and you add a meringue mix to the rice pudding, it is now the kids new favourite... but hubby still likes the old traditional one...;O)
Many Blessings

Createology said...

My mom used to make rice custard pudding and I always like it so much. She would use leftover rice for hers. We also ate cold lefover rice in a bowl for breakfast with milk and sugar. Nothing ever went to waste when I was growing up. Now nobody I know ever eats "leftovers" and most don't even cook at home for eating out all the time. Such a wasteful society we have...

Picnic Locations in Gurgaon said...

It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.

retdairyqueen said...

I made baked rice custard for tea last night Yum I used the cooked rice method the way my Mum used to make it xx

Annie said...

I remember the raw rice custard from when I was a spring chicken - it was my favourite also Jenny - thank you so much for the easy peasy for the weekend xoxo

Pinnylea Creations said...

We always had rice pudding when we went to Nanna's too. Always from an enamal bowl and the top was always very well done and my favourite bit - reading your post sent me back there too; my Nanna always wore a pinny but never her teeth unless she was going out!

Tammy said...

I do not remember eating rice custard. My mom made lots of bread puddings when we were growing up..She used all kinds of leftover breads, busicuits and corn breads in it..

Susan Torrens said...

I have a similar family recipe, but my Mom always added raisins to the rice before pouring the custard. It is wonderful to see that although we live far apart (I'm in Canada), some things never change!
A friend gave me some extra milk after her family ended their visit, so I was planning to make this today!

Lin said...

I wonder what Calrose rice is? We always used pudding rice or round grain rice as it is also known for rice pudding - no eggs - and like Susan it had dried fruit of some kind in it. For me visiting Nana meant making toast on her open fire - such fun as we did not have fires in our modern centrally heated house! xx

Nita said...

My nana made this, too, only we called it rice pudding. It was something my mom also used to make when we were sick. There was something special about sitting in bed eating a warm dish of rice pudding and then snuggling back down in the blankets for another sleep.

TerriSue said...

I have never seen such a custardy rice pudding. The ones I am accustomed to in the States are a lot more rice. I'm making yours tonight as I think it will be much more of a hit!
To Createology,
In the 35 years that my husband and I have been married he has never gone out for lunch unless it was for business. Which is quite rare. We pack up our leftovers every night after dinner and put them in the freezer. He has always had a microwave available and takes a meal to work the next day. I don't know how people can afford to eat out every day for lunch. My husband says he loves to eat my cooking three times a day and food doesn't get wasted in this house!

Anonymous said...

Either custard looks wonderful, and sounds delicious. I like rice quite a bit and will try this out. I have to figure out the pans first. What I have that will fit in something else I have. =) I know why you have those things that remind you of your grandmother. I still do some things the way my mother did for that same reason. Those traditions tie us to them and bring them back for just a moment, don't they?

kr said...

I have changed my way of eating so I don't eat a lot of what I ate when I was growing up. Truth be told, my mom didn't cook much anyway. The cooking was done by my sisters and me. One of my favorites was fried noodles with canned whole tomatoes. Desserts: rhubarb custard pie, rum cake, and spud and spice cake. Christmas cookies were always special types of cookies--not the every day kind--and I still make those at christmas to this day and we give most of them away as gifts.

Just like TerriSue, my husband gets leftovers from dinner for his lunch the next day. We hardly ever eat out as it is too expensive and not that healthy.

The rice custard looks good! We used to have it with or without rice and sweetened stawberries on it. The way you prepared it with the fresh fruit looks yummy!

Farm Quilter said...

I'm going to try your firmer recipe for Sunday family dinner! It looks fabulous - thanks for sharing!!! I have never made anything like this before.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen thankyou for sharing these lovely desserts think i will make one for us tonight while we have the grandies here,hope you have a wonderful day my friend xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jenny for the trip down memory lane, the exact same puddings my dear late Mum and Nana used to make, plus the enamel pie dishes, when I think back to all those old style puddings we enjoyed every night growing up,and can still taste the golden syrup dumplings, different times eh. Mum used to also make a rice custard on the stove top with sultanas added. I have made some of them myself occasionally in the past but not for long time but I can feel a baked rice custard coming up very soon what a great idea you've given me with yourself and Mr E making it your dinner with that lovely fruit salad, now that is a great way to enjoy those yummy desserts. I wonder how the baked custard would go using almond milk, unfortunately my daughter and grandchildren are dairy free as well as gluten free so it makes it difficult at times. It is difficult making any custard taste great using rice or almond milk and gluten free custard powder, adding eggs do not improve greatly either, but maybe with the rice baked custard might be worth trying. I have been keeping a constant supply of apple and pear gluten free crumbles for my grandson, he never tires of them, well it is dessert and he has never known of all those other yummy long ago favourites. Wishing you a great day, Judithann :-)

gibbygoo56 said...

I love rice pudding. I will have to try this yummy recipe soon. Blessings!

Jo said...

This was what my mother in law always made. Once she lost the dish she couldn't make it again. She Couldn't remember what went into it for me to make. THANKYOU. I'll give it a go.... Yummmy

Unknown said...

Delicious. I still make all the old family recipes. My sons and their families love the traditional recipes. Thankyou for this.
Have you ever made bread pudding? Not bread and butter but bread pudding?
A very heavily spiced pud/cake full of spice and sultanas. It is beautiful and you know it's right when you get a very dark pud smelling of Christmas.