It would be safe to say that Rice Pudding is an ultimate comfort food around the globe. Nearly every culture has their own variations on this luscious, nursery-food style treat. In Mr K's family home, when treats were on offer - they often came in the form of Greek rice pudding, called rizogalo (ριζόγαλο).
Rizogalo is a creamy, mouth-filling delight of sweetened rice, full cream milk and the subtle flavourings of cinnamon and lemon. When served warm, it is rich and comforting - like a big sweet hug in a bowl. Perfect in Autumn when the weather starts to become a little cooler. But when the weather is warmer, rizogalo is equally good served cold. Despite it's carby underpinnings, served cool rizogalo is surprisingly refreshing, especially when dusted with an extra large dose of cinnamon.
A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe from the holy grail of Greek cooking, Tselementes. In that I post, (which you can under the "Tselementes" tag on the recipe index page opposite right) I promised to slowly work my way through the book and share with you my efforts in respect of Mr Tselementes' recipes - tweaked every so often with the wise counsel of Ma, having resulted from her 50+ years experience cooking with Tselementes.
So, without further delay, in the post I give you Mr Tselementes' recipe for rizogalo (ριζόγαλο) - served along with my own twist - homegrown springtime mulberries that had been preserved in a light honey syrup.
I use an Australian Fowlers Vacola preserving method - simply because that is the one that my grandmother used and she had given me lots of her old preserving bottles when she 'retired' from the art of preserving. A good store bought substitute for the mulberries would be to seek out your local Turkish or Middle Eastern grocer for a jar of good quality mulberry jam (if you are in Sydney try Gima supermarket in Auburn).
Mr Tselementes' Rizogalo (ριζόγαλο)
8 cups of milk
1 cup of rice (I used Arborio rice)
1 & 1/2 cups of caster sugar
1 lemon, rind only
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of cornflour
1. Put the milk into a large pot and bring to the boil.
2. Wash the rice and add to the milk. When the milk comes to the boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for about half and hour, stirring occasionally.
(Ma's tip - keep checking and stir fairly often so that the rice does not stick to the base of your pan)
3. Add sugar, lemon rind and combine well, simmer for 8 - 10 minutes longer.
4. If desired, add 2 egg yolks, mixed with a little cold milk and a teaspoon of cornflour. Combine well and simmer for a few minutes longer.
5. Serve, sprinkled with plenty of cinnamon.
Mulberries in honey syrup
I use an Australian Fowlers Vacola "Simple Natural Preserving" method.
To make the honey syrup, I used a Greek thyme flavoured honey.
I dissolved 1 cup of honey in 1 cup of water - and allowed to cool. Then I followed the Fowlers Vacola bottling and processing steps.
For a demonstration of how to use the Fowlers Vacola preserving method see: https://fowlersvacola.com.au/demos/preserving.