Puddings happen to be one of my favorite desserts and comfort foods. Rice pudding is something that directly reminds me or takes me back to my childhood — from the very first bite!
1/2 C short grain rice (I use Egyptian).
2 C water
4 C whole milk
1 C half and Half or heavy cream
1/2 C minus 1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 C plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp mastic gum powder (found in middle eastern stores)
1 tsp orange blossom water (found in middle astern supermarkets and some grocery stores)
ground unsweetened pistachios for garnish
Wash the rice in cold water a few times and rinse, before placing in a medium size pot.
Add the two cups of water and bring the pot to medium heat, once boiling, lower the heat to low, and simmer covered till all the water is evaporated (about 15 minutes). Turn off the heat.
Add the milk, cream, sugar and cornstarch to the rice in the pot, then stir thoroughly, till all the starch is dissolved.
Bring the pot back on medium heat and stir continuously till all pudding thickens and starts bubbling.
Add the mastic powder and the orange blossom water and continue stirring for another 2 minutes or three.
Pour in serving cups immediately.
Once pudding comes to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 3 hours.
Garnish with pistachios and serve!
Note: the type of rice is really important in this recipe, the short grain rice lends the pudding a softer, silkier texture.