This is a chai tea version of my family's favorite rice pudding which is incredibly easy to make in a slow cooker, or alternatively can be baked in the oven. My daughter is a big rice pudding fiend and also likes to drink "cambric tea" (sweet milky tea, referred to by Laura Ingalls Wilder), and she approved of this version. —Fairmount_market
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a saucepan, heat the milk until it is scalding. Meanwhile cut a large sheet of cheesecloth, fold it over several times, put the tea, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and ginger in the center, gather the edges, and tie together with a thread to make a sachet. When the milk is scalding, turn off the heat and immerse the spice sachet in it.
In a tall walled pie pan, combine the rice, sugar, and salt. Pour over the milk and spice sachet. Mix and put into the oven. After 30 minutes of cooking, remove the spice sachet and stir. Continue to stir occasionally, mixing in any caramelized film that forms on the surface, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice has cooked down into a thick pudding, about 90 minutes total. Serve garnished with toasted almonds.
Alternatively, this can be made in a slow cooker. In the slow cooker pot, combine the rice, sugar, salt, scalded milk and spice packet. Cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours, removing the spice packet after the first hour.
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.