"Isn't rice pudding always suitable for coeliacs?"
You might think so but guess what I found lurking on every single packet of pudding rice in the supermarkets? Yep, that horrid disclaimer, "may contain wheat".
You'll notice the rather patronising follow-on from the "may contain" message on this packet - that wheat contains gluten. It's an educational rice packet as well as being nutritious!
How can rice contain wheat?
I mean, it's rice for goodness' sake! Rice is naturally gluten-free. They shouldn't be faffing about with it. There's no need to separate the wheat from the chaff. If someone could tell me the answer, I'd be genuinely interested to know.
But somehow it's not suitable for coeliacs. So if you want a rice pudding that's okay to eat and doesn't have traces of wheat, you need to buy rice without this warning. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives, although sadly a little more expensive (but hey, this is nothing new to us gluten-free-ers).
The two types of rice I'd recommend are arborio (used in risottos) or paella. Both produce a really creamy texture and I haven't found any warnings on the packets I've seen.
So here's the recipe I used to make the ultimate rice pudding with lashes of double cream and golden sugar. I promise it's worth the two hour wait.
Cinnamon Rice Pudding (serves 6-8)
This recipe is deceptive: a small portion is enough to satisfy even the greatest of pudding lovers. (No, really.)
100g arborio rice (or paella)
80g golden caster sugar
1 litre milk (equivalent to nearly 2 pints)
150ml double cream (available in tubs of this exact amount)
1 tspn ground cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
Add the rice and mix evenly.
Add the sugar and mix.
Pour over the milk and bring to a simmer.
Add the double cream and cinnamon and stir carefully.
Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring gently.
Pour into an oven dish (approx. 10"x8" is perfect).
Bake for 2 hours.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before serving.
That last point - number 10 - that's to stop you from taking the roof off your mouth when you take your first bite. And who could blame you? This is the most delicious rice pudding ever, after all!
Have you tried this recipe? What did you think? Please share your comments below!