Rice Pudding


This classic dessert is served at almost every Portuguese celebration, but it originated in the Minho province, where Emeril Lagasse's mother's family is from. The pudding is very sweet—as are most desserts in Portugal—but this recipe has been modified to American tastes.Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

Rice Pudding
Photo: © Quentin Bacon


  • 1 quart whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups Valencia or Arborio rice (10 onces)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 cups heavy cream of half-and-half

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a large nonstick saucepan, combine the milk with the rice, butter, lemon zest and salt and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the milk is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

  2. Add the cream and sugar and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the hot rice. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan in a thin stream, whisking constantly to prevent scrambling. Bring to a boil and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until creamy and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour the rice pudding into a large heatproof dish and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours. Serve the rice pudding in bowls, dusted with cinnamon.

Make Ahead

The rice pudding can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Suggested Pairing

A rich, medium-sweet Bual Madeira will add flavors of nuts and fruit to this sweet rice pudding.

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