Horchata Pudding

Monday, July 30, 2007

I love the taste of horchata, and decided to try to mimic the flavor as accurately as I could into a rice pudding. This is the result of my experiment - the best rice pudding ever. E-V-E-R. It's insanely sweet and has that smooth milky taste you love, with slight whispers of vanilla, and caressing mildly spicy notes of cinnamon that follow. It's quite a rush.This stuff is also rich, as in if you fed it to a racehorse, it would die. Thus, proving the true yumtasticness of this rice pudding. I attribute it to the use of heavy cream and arborio rice. This is a recipe where the quality of ingredients will really make a difference. I used Mexican vanilla, and whole Mexican cinnamon sticks for a more authentic flavor. Almonds add a nice smooth flavor underneath it all. I know some people like a bit of lime in their horchata, so if you want feel free to garnish this with some lime zest.
All the time and effort that this recipe demands is worth it, and a great way to spend a long cold day when those come up. I just pull up a stool next to the stove, get a book and a glass of gin and tonic, and stir. It makes for a fragrant and relaxing respite in life.

Does it get any better than this? I think not.

Horchata Pudding
What You'll Need...
3/4 cup of arborio rice
1 stick of Mexican cinnamon
3 cups of milk
3 cups of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, preferably Mexican, split lengthwise -or- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of sugar
large pinch of salt
1 cup blanched skinless

What You'll Do...
1) Place rice in a small sauce pan with two cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then drain. Transfer rice to a heavy 3 quart pot.

2) Add 2 cups of milk, 2 cups of cream, sugar, cinnamon stick, and salt. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the pod to the milk and rice mixture. Place over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk has been absorbed by rice, about an hour. Rice should be tender and rice should be creamy.

3) Add another 1 cup of milk and cream and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes. Stir often, if not continuously, to prevent the bottom from burning.

3) When it is done, you should be able to pull the spoon through the middle of the pudding, and the pudding take a second to fill in the breach. (It should be pudding consistency, albeit hot pudding.) Chop the almonds and fold into the pudding. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature and thicken.

4) Serve in small portions and garnish with ground cinnamon.

For a traditional horchata drink recipe, check out the recipe here at Life Begins at 30.

Feel free to use 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom in lieu of cinnamon and use in the place of vanilla rice pudding in the Cardamom Pistachio Cupcakes with Rice Pudding Filling recipe!


  1. Ooh! I think I need to make a run to The Spice House this week to pick up the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. That recipe looks and sounds so decadent and comes just as I have been craving rice pudding. Best yet, it won't require any modifications since it is naturally gluten free!

  2. Ooooh, I'm drooling! Better wipe my keyboard quick!

  3. That looks ridiculously rich...I recently tried Vietnamese cinnamon and love the flavor. I've got to do a taste-off with the Mexican variety sometime. I love the image of stirring my rice while sipping a gin & tonic (my aferwork drink of choice) on a chilly night.

  4. Ooh Horchata Pudding! Ahhh, what I would do for some good Horchata...

  5. Sounds delicious! I hope to try this out soon.

  6. I've decided to make a rice pudding ice cream, and have been debating over whether to do a rich, cinnamon/vanilla flavor or an orange blossom scented, sort of Indian flavor. This post has brought me in the right direction. thanks

  7. I'm so excited to try this!! I love horchata and I love rice pudding!

  8. As it seems we've skipped over summer and gone straight to autumn here in Northern Europe, it won't be difficult to find an excuse to make this. It just looks so creamy, my mouth started watering the moment I laid eyes on the picture! Yum!

  9. I adore drinnking horchata and the progression of it to a pudding is so natural! Can't wait to try this.

  10. I woke up this morning craving rice pudding. I'll have to try this! (Looks like I'll have to get some tonic in order to have the complete experience)

  11. Two of my favorite things together! I'll have to make this soon. Thanks for sharing!


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