Throwback Thursday: Rice pudding

Throwback Thursday: Rice pudding
Tony Jackman’s old-fashioned rice pudding with sultanas. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Rice pudding made in the very old-school way can be milky, like a sweet rice soup. Rather soup it up with raisins or sultanas, and use eggs to turn it into a custardy delight.

When I hear the words “rice pudding” I instantly see, in my mind’s eye, my mother’s beige oblong enamel dish with its green trim, the one she always used when she made her rice pudding, once a week. It was the same dish my dad used when he made his potted meat from an ancient Yorkshire recipe. And when my dad ever said “potted meat” I’d immediately have a mental image of the very same enamel dish.

She dotted her rice pudding with knobs of butter, the rice swimming in milk, no eggs in sight, and I loved it, every time. With hindsight, there are ways of improving on it, though, and that’s what I set out to do here. I hope she doesn’t mind, and no, dad, I won’t mess with the potted meat recipe when I finally get around to trying my hand at it. That’s been on the back burner for a very long time.

With that in mind (improving on the old rice pudding), I decided to add a few things. A cinnamon stick. A strip or two of dried orange peel. A handful of sultanas (you could use raisins). And a can of condensed milk.

But the core ingredients remain the same as the old ways: rice, milk, and sweetness.


⅔ cup raw long grain rice, rinsed four times and drained

600 ml full cream milk

1 can of condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 strip of dried naartjie or orange peel

1 cinnamon stick

3 large eggs, beaten

½ cup seedless raisins or sultanas

2 Tbsp butter

Grated nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 160℃.

Rinse the rice four times in cold water while rubbing the grains with your fingers, and drain. This is the method I was taught by my friend Devi Moodliar (in fact, she advised “ten times” though I find that four is enough).

Put the rice in a saucepan with the milk, peel and cinnamon stick and bring it just to a very gentle bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for five minutes. Be careful that it does not foam up and boil over. 

Cover the top of the pot tightly with foil. Leave it to stand for 15 minutes for the milk to be partially absorbed by the rice. Discard the peel and cinnamon stick.

Pour in the condensed milk, off the heat, while stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir in the vanilla essence.

Pour the mixture into a buttered oven dish and leave it to stand for 20 minutes to become cool enough for adding the eggs.

Whisk the eggs and stir them into the cooled mixture. Sprinkle the raisins or sultanas in. Pop knobs of butter on top, here and there. Grate nutmeg over the top.

Bake in the preheated 160℃ oven, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. DM/TGIFood 

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram JackmanWrites.

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options