Raspberry Rice Pudding Recipe

Riz au Lait à la Framboise

[Raspberry Rice Pudding]

Most of you know by now about Is My Blog Burning?, the collaborative food blogging event, in which food bloggers post a recipe on a particular theme on the same day. Well, today is the 4th edition, hosted by Pim, and the theme this time is “Around the World in a Bowl of Rice”.

As I have come to expect on such occasions, my mind has been a battlefield for the past week, as ever-growing throngs of widely different ideas fought in an effusion of cherry tomato jam, to be selected as the C&Z knight in armor. In the end, as dawn broke and the dust settled on the bodies of the less adroit or more unfortunate combatants, I began to discern the shape of my winner, this simple dessert recipe, standing tall and unscathed in the midst of this desolate scene.

Riz au Lait (“ree-oh-leh”) is the epitomy of the French grandmotherly dessert : simple, homely, comforting, sweet and creamy. It is one of Maxence’s favorite desserts, and both his grandmothers have their own version of it. It sometimes appears on restaurant menus, slightly vamped up, as a part of that “regressive food” trend. We also recently had some in Madrid, where it is called, unsuprisingly, “arroz con leche”. There is no definitive recipe : different versions call for milk only or milk and cream, the milk to cream to sugar to rice proportions vary, as do the flavoring spices : most recipes call for vanilla, but some use cinnamon as well.

I created my version based on several of these recipes, wanting to use only milk (half-skim) and trying to choose a sensible sugar to rice ratio : I wanted sweet, but not overly sweet. Some of the recipes I’d seen mixed in raisins or apples, but I wanted to add some raspberries. This turned out to be an excellent idea : it gives the creamed rice an appetizing pink color, and the tingly raspberry tartness is the perfect companion to the milky taste of this dessert. The raspberries also blend into the creamed rice, thus preserving the nice baby-mush texture that riz au lait fans like so much.

I served this for dessert after one of our impromptu dinners with our neighbors. The creamed rice had cooled to room temperature, and I scooped it into glasses and sprinkled crumbled speculoos on top at the last minute, to create a crunchy/creamy contrast.

Riz au Lait à la Framboise

– 1L fresh milk
– 125 g short-grain rice (Carnaroli, Arborio, any rice labelled “spécial dessert” in France)
– 100 g sugar
– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
– 150 g raspberries (fresh or frozen, no need to thaw if frozen)

(Serves 6.)

Bring the milk to a simmer in a large saucepan. Pour in the rice, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook without stirring for 30 minutes or until the rice is soft. The milk won’t be completely absorbed at that point (the mixture thickens as it cools).

Add in the sugar, vanilla and raspberries and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. The milk may have formed a “skin” on the sides and bottom of the pan. This is edible, but some people don’t like the look or taste of it : if you don’t want the milk’s skin in your riz au lait, avoid scraping the sides and bottom of the saucepan. Cook for another five minutes.

Transfer the riz au lait into a medium serving bowl (remove any bit of unwanted skin with a fork), and let cool. This can be served at room temperature or cold from the fridge, in small bowls or pretty glasses. Decorate with a fresh raspberry, a mint leaf, or optionally crumble crisp cookies on top.

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  • Hello Clotilde,

    ah, another kind of “riz au lait”-dessert :-) Great idea – I’ll be glad to try it when my raspberries will be ripe!

  • Those crumbled speculoos on top are a great idea! I can just imagine the wonderful taste…mhhh

  • Hello Clotilde,
    This looks beautiful. I love the presentation in a glass!

  • Renee

    very pretty color! warm and summery, yet soft and comforting. very nice! : )

  • Fruity rice sounds intriguing, I’m inspired to try it one of these days since it’s not usual in my part of the world (Philippines). But we do have rice cakes galore. One kind is calamay, cooked almost the same way as riz au lait but we use fresh coconut milk instead of milk, and cooked for a very long time over a clay wood-burning stove. We don’t get your dessert rice here but we have glutinous rice, very, very sticky, perfect for desserts and arroz caldo.

  • Caroline

    Mmmmh…looks yummy!

    I agree that “riz au lait” is a grandmotherly dessert: mine treated me this weekend with a “Teurgoule”, a typical dessert from Normandy. The rice has to cook for at least a couple of hours in the oven. The result is an extremely creamy rice, hidden under a golden-brown milk skin.
    Do you know this dish?

  • Clotilde,

    It’s brilliant. I made it last night, ate almost half of it myself and then ate most of the rest this morning for breakfast. Quelle cochonnerie! (can you say that?)

    Beautiful Wife says “It’s a waste of raspberries” (hah! Wrong) and Beautiful Daughter is at that age where *anything* but pommes frites is rejected (even though it turned out Barbie pink). Filipina Nanny loved it, though, and it was a bit of a punch-up at the fridge this morning…

    Will definitely be a staple. Thanks for the recipe.


  • I like riz au lait a lot, even though I have met few Japanese who’d like rice pudding (or mere the idea of cooking rice in sweetened milk).
    My favorite milk-rice flavor is green apple, but raspberry one sure does look prettier….

  • Thea

    Thank you for inspiring me to get back to the kitchen. This looked like a big winner in the reward for effort game. I put it on to cook last night while we ate dinner, thinking it would be nice lunchbox breakfast for my daughter after her early morning basketball training session. I couldn’t wait to try it, & ate a bowl still warm – delicious! Not too sweet & tooth-achey, but mine wasn’t very pink! Is it because I used frozen raspberries? Thank you for a lovely site. I have been visiting for awhile as I love your style of writing. This is the first recipe I have cooked & it is a winner. I am looking forward to my daughter’s reaction.

  • Petra – Your rice terrine looks good! And I’m glad to have stumbled on your blog, it’s a good opportunity for me to dust off my German!

    Alberto – Crumbled crispy cookies on top of this is a must! Are you able to find speculoos in Germany?

    Pascale – Glad you like it, serving dessert in glasses is a nice change, I think!

    Renee – Thanks, I’m happy it appeals to you!

    Karen – Fascinating. Do you think the wood-burning stove lends the rice a particular taste? Rice pudding seems to be a staple all over the world!

    Caroline – I had never heard of that one, interesting! And how lucky to have a grandmother who’s in good enough shape to make you dessert. Here’s to her!

    Jolyon – I’m really happy you tried this already and enjoyed it! Maybe you could have crumbled French fries on it in place of the cookie, for your daughter to eat it? :)

    Chika – Oooh, how would you make the green apple rice pudding? Would you add diced apple at the beginning or at the end of the cooking?

    Thea – Oh I’m delighted this inspired you. I’m not sure about the color question though. I used frozen raspberries as well, but maybe some have more coloring power than others? Mine were crushed raspberries (sold for a lesser price than whole, how thrifty!), maybe that helped as well? Hope your daughter liked it!

  • Oh yes, truly! Cooking over wood gives the rice a more consistently cooked taste. There’s even a type of rice cake called bibingka, which is cooked with coals underneath and over it. Oh, I can’t begin to explain.

    And by the way, even ordinary everyday rice (our bread) tastes much better if cooked over wood. Not even the best rice cooker can match it, especially if flavoured with pandan leaves.

  • yummy! I love rice desserts, and this sounds so good with the raspberries and speculoos.

    By the way, I am very jealous of that speculoos – what a big cookie! I didn’t notice them when we were in Belgium a couple of years ago, but I wish I had. Maybe next time. I think we were too focused on all the great beer to properly investigate all the bakeries, though we visited many a chocolate shop.

  • Karen – Thanks for the additional info. It makes me very happy when I catch a glimpse into another cooking culture, and see that there are whole worlds out there that I haven’t yet begun to explore!

    Melissa – I’m sure you’d love speculoos! But I intend to experiment with making them myself soon, and then you can bake a batch yourself and get a taste!

  • Clotilde,

    Eh, I don’t exactly know how to make green apple rice pudding, because it’s not me who make them but Muller folks do. (I don’t know if Muller Rice brand is available in France.)
    They have syruped diced apple in the rice, and my guess is that the apples are cooked in syrup separately, and then added to rice pudding. either right before it is done or after it is cooled to room temparature.

  • Chika – We don’t have Muller desserts in France, but I’ve seen them in the UK and in Germany. Caramely apple and rice pudding sounds lovely, I’ll have to try and copycat it!

  • ruchi

    Curious to know if anyone else felt like the raspberry seeds interrupted the texture of the riz au lait? The Indian version “kheer” would have a cardamom flavor, with crunch from almonds/cashews, and sweet from golden raisins.
    I love the smell of it cooking especially on a rainy day!

  • daniela

    I prepared this tonight, but used a combination of rice milk and coconut milk as my husband is allergic to dairy products. It came out good, maybe a bit liquid, but everyone loved it. The raspberries give it a lovely color. Thanks for this gluten free dessert !

    • Happy to hear it, Daniela, thanks for reporting back!

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