My brothers and sisters and I grew up on the poems of A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh and wonderful books of poems such as Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young. One of my favorites was called Rice Pudding, with the last stanza quoted above. What was the matter with Mary Jane not absolutely loving rice pudding???
The pudding I made today was baked for three hours and the results were tremendous. After mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, it was just a matter of going in every 20 minutes or so while it was baking and giving it a stir. This ensured that the rice didn't all float to the top and a brown crust didn't form. The recipe I used called for raisins but I opted for dried cranberries for a different twist. The pudding was creamy and sweet with just a hint of the nutmeg and cinnamon spices coming through. Let me tell you Mary Jane, you don't know what your missing!
Baked Rice Pudding
1/3 cup long grain, uncooked rice
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried raisins (or cranberries, or wouldn't dried cherries be good too??)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Pour in all of the ingredients and mix well. Place in oven for 3 hours, stirring with a fork for the first 2 1/2 hours every 20-30 minutes. Leave alone during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Let cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.