Appalachia Appalachian Food

Rice Pudding

How to make rice pudding

I made rice pudding for the first time last week.

I ran across the recipe in the book Mountain Cooking by John Parris. I recalled The Deer Hunter saying he liked rice pudding and it seemed like an easy enough recipe to whip up.

Mountain Cooking Rice Pudding

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 1/4 cups cream or milk (I used a mixture of cream and half-n-half)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar (I used 6)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon flavoring
  • 2 to 4 eggs (I used 3)
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Old timey rice pudding

Combine rice, cream/milk, sugar, lemon flavoring, and eggs together-mix well. Stir in raisins and pour mixture into a greased dish or baking pan. Cook at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes or till pudding is set.

Rice pudding in appalachia

The first time I checked to see if my rice pudding was set-it was still runny. The next time I checked I was afraid I had cooked it too long. It looked dry and I thought the pudding would be tough. I was wrong. The rice pudding was delicious even if it was a little on the dry side. The lemon really adds a nice note to the dish.

After eating a bowl of my rice pudding, I decided I had been missing out on one of the finer things in life. Granny never made rice pudding that I can remember.

Someone did teach me to add sugar and butter to my rice when I was a child, that’s the only way I would eat it for years. The Deer Hunter said he grew up eating rice mixed with sugar and butter too.



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  • Reply
    October 12, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    We eat rice with sugar and butter quite often…warm tasty goodness 🙂 , rice pudding is wonderful too, as is bread pudding … the leaves are not at peak color here yet but in the process…had a bit of wind part of the day and the leaves were raining down.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I love rice pudding, but I make mine different.
    I make a custard ( like you would make for banana pudding), add rice and raisins and put a meringue on top….my daddy, God rest his soul, loved it so much…

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Wanda-thank you for the comment! I don’t see why the quick rice wouldn’t work just as well : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    mary Lou McKillip
    March 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I could never develop a taste for rice, but I have done some rice with chicken and baked it. (rice casserole)Dad would never eat rice unless it had a lot of sugar and butter in it.He loved it and Mother served it often, but I had my gravy/

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    March 10, 2015 at 11:05 am

    I used to eat sugar and butter on my rice when I was a child and it was so good. My Dad likes it that way. The next time I make rice I will have to fix a little bowl. I like rice pudding but haven’t had it in several years. I like it but my husband is not a big fan.

  • Reply
    Cynthia Schoonover
    March 10, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I used to make rice pudding all the time when my girls were little.(They’re adults now.) It was a great way to use up leftover rice. My mom never made it, but our next door neighbor when I was a child made it, and I loved it.

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    March 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Our Dad liked rice pudding, although he wouldn’t eat rice any other way like a plain side dish, or in a stuffed cabbage or pepper. He was odd like that, would eat pork chops, but not pork roast, would eat meatloaf, but not a mixed hamburger (hamburger mixed with diced onions, herbs and crackers or bread to stretch the meat).
    I remember him making this in a pot on top of the stove rather than baked in the oven, and I don’t remember him adding eggs, although I do remember him adding raisins.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Phyllis S
    March 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Rice pudding was a favorite when I was a child…..oh, so many years ago.Your recipe reminds me that I must make some. Thanks!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Grits is also a cereal – so, I put sugar on them too.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    My wife’s family thought I was nuts to put sugar on rice. My reason to them was, “I put sugar on all the cereal I eat. Rice is a cereal.”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Ken’s right about rice and oatmeal without salt. It tastes like you’re eating nails. Since you started with cooked rice, yours probably already has salt in it.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    My childhood family had bread pudding. Rice was only used in our Tex-Mex dishes. My husband’s childhood family had rice pudding like your recipe – but when I got hold of it I did what Elithea did – and hubby liked it even better!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    March 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    my mom used vanilla but the lemon does sound nice — I’ll have to try that.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I fix Rice alot, adding cream of
    chicken. Ain’t never had rice
    pudding tho. When I fix rice, I
    put salt on mine, same with oatmeal. Maybe I’m just a “salt a’haulic”.
    Rice pudding sounds good cause I
    like all the ingredients, but I
    don’t ever remember having it at

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    “pantry recipe: three rice pudding. 1/4 cup each brown, long, and arborio (or whatever is left over in the cupboard) rice, one can evaporated milk, one can condensed milk that’s been on the shelf so long it’s turned into dulce de leche all by itself, plus the water used to swish out the can, and a pinch of salt in the crockpot. sprinkle on gobs of cinnamon and stir it all up. cook on low for however long (long.) oo, i forgot the vanilla, and maybe almond extract, hang on…
    and chopped almonds and raisins..eggs?” 😀

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    i make it in the lityle crockpot whenever i am in my cabin up there. as a matter of fact…that’s a goid idea! thanks!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I had rice pudding as a child but when I grew up and got married it was no more. I didn’t cook back then and my wife could only cook what her mother made which didn’t include rice pudding. I have thought about rice pudding off and on for years, so now that I cook a lot, I can have me some rice pudding. If nobody else likes it, I can eat it all.
    I made your peach cobbler recipe the other day and it was a hit here. I made it after midnight so it would get cold which is how I like it. After my wife and son discovered it, they microwaved it and loved it. I got to eat only a little bit but at least it was like I like it.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 9, 2015 at 11:06 am

    We never had rice pudding but did rarely have rice for breakfast with sugar & milk. I don’t think we ever had rice in any savory dish. I guess the real rice eaters are farther south. Same with grits–other than Cracker Barrel I don’t think I’ve had them served for breakfast in West or Middle TN. Maybe in a big breakfast buffet. Mama never cooked grits.
    I like rice pudding but never was successful at making it . I’m going to try this recipe–I love lemon. Wonder if the quick cooking rice would work?

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    March 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I was raised eating Rice Pudding as a desert, I still love it but every time I hear of it I think of a tale of the old timer who was served Rice Pudding for the first time, his host noticed he was eating it slowly and kept stirring it with his fork. The host inquired if there was something wrong and he responded, “No, in fact this stuff is purty tasty once you get the flies picked out of it.” I was raised eating rice with butter & sugar and still do plus I love to brown Pork Chops or Cube Steak with a little salt & pepper rolled in flour then bake in Mushroom Soup (1/2 can of milk per each can of soup) for an hour at 325 degrees then serve the gravy over rice. You’ll need to wear a hard hat when eating the meat and rice with the Mushroom gravy to keep your tongue from slapping your brains out.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    March 9, 2015 at 10:29 am

    My wife of over forty-nine years is from Japan. We have rice with most meals. Not the long grained kind. The short grain pearl rice. Neither of us care for rice pudding. Rice is available for almost every meal. She thinks I am a barbarian for eating rice with butter.

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    March 9, 2015 at 10:19 am

    My mother often made rice pudding. It was delicious. I don’t think I have eaten much, if any, since I left home.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I love rice pudding. Sometimes I would cheat and just add the rice and raisins to regular vanilla pudding mix. My husband enjoys rice, but not rice pudding. I think he is missing out on a delicious dessert. I think this recipe is a keeper. I know I will make it for myself. I wonder if it freezes okay. Worth a try!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Mom used to make rice and raisins for our breakfast but never made rice pudding. I don’t recall ever cooking white rice in any recipe. My ex-husband refused to eat it. He said he ate enough rice in Vietnam to last a lifetime. I discovered my love for wild rice while we were on a fishing trip in Bemidji, MN where they added it to just about everything, including scrambled eggs. The rice grew wild around the lakes and rivers. I order a pound or two about once a year to make the best casserole I have ever eaten.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    March 9, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Rice pudding makes me think of my mother and grandmother. My grandmother would make it for my mother when she wasn’t feeling well. Of course there is no recipe. Thanks for the recipe, Tipper.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I never had rice pudding growing up, but I’ve been making up for it ever since so this may be a very long comment!
    I like it with or without raisins, and with vanilla extract – or a mix of vanilla and almond extracts – yum!
    The first time I saw lemon in rice pudding was when I was working on a farm in Portugal – there, the rice pudding had actual lemon in it and thin slices of lemon like a garnish. I think there may have been eggs involved, too…it was very rich. Leftover rice pudding is a lovely breakfast, as is rice porridge topped with a little butter – and maple syrup!
    Oh, and I made a big pot of rice pudding in my crockpot (my favorite way to make it) for some friends who came by for dinner, and since one fellow was diabetic, I made it with Splenda instead of sugar. Everybody had seconds!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    March 9, 2015 at 8:30 am

    My Uncle Noble came to visit when I was six, and he taught me to put butter and sugar on my rice. Mama was horrified! But to this day I am grateful to my uncle, and I still occasionally have rice with butter and sugar. I love rice pudding, although I use a different recipe, but this lemony version sounds yummy.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 9, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I don’t know why I never cared for rice pudding or egg custard. My husband loves both. Maybe it was the cook that made it and had me try it when I was a child.
    I think I will try your recipe. I don’t remember the raisins in Mom’s!
    We did grow up eating rice as a cereal. Only if we were out of oatmeal or cream of wheat. We put ours in a bowl with sugar, a bit of butter and a touch of milk!
    To tell you the truth I never liked it that way very much either.
    I like my rice in more savory dishes. I rarely buy white rice any more. I use brown rice or brown and wild rice mixed. If I use white rice at all, (soups, etc.), it has to be long grained for me. Seems like the short grained gets sticky…Like I said, it is probably the cook…LOL
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…We love Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley, a blend of long grain brown rice, black barley and Daikon Radish Seed…so good with pork chops or chicken!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 9, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I put sugar and butter on rice as a child, when I had rice. My family learned that I would eat almost anything if they put enough sugar on it. The go to starch at my house was potatoes. My family just didn’t eat rice. I don’t know if there was a reason, I just know that we didn’t cook it.
    I have made rice pudding a few times but not a lot. I think of it as an old timey thing like custard. I have an old recipe for custard but it’s not something I cook unless someone specifically wants it.

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    March 9, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I LOVE rice pudding! Rice was a real treat for us as my father did not allow rice on his table. Mother made it occasionally for Saturday breakfast if Daddy was out of town or working. We ate it with milk and sugar like any cereal. I discovered rice pudding at family reunions and church potlucks. I have never encountered any made with lemon flavoring, always cinnamon and nutmeg. Sounds like something to try.j

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 9, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Lawsy child, you have (as you note) lived a life of culinary deprivation. Momma made rice pudding times without number and I’ve always loved it. There are some variations you might want to try. Substitute craisins (I think that’s the right word for dried cranberries), dried tart cherries, chopped up dried apricots, or yellow raisins instead of the regular ones.
    Any way you fix it the dessert is delicious.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    March 9, 2015 at 7:21 am

    I love rice pudding. My grandma and my mom both made it..I imagine because we had milk cows and rice was cheap! We also ate rice with sugar and butter..kind of like was a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    March 9, 2015 at 5:55 am

    My grandma made this for me for breakfast when I was a child. She let the rice soak in water overnight. She had an electric stove, but she preferred the wood cook stove.
    We have a gas cook stove, I can cook even though the power is out. Rice pudding is my go-to comfort food if we are stuck at home during a winter storm. So warm and soothing and it tastes so good.

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