Almond Rice Pudding with Toasted Meringue

December 27, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

The idea for this recipe comes from a 19th century dessert called Huntington pudding, which has a lemony rice pudding base, thickened with egg yolks, and a lemon meringue cap. I love how the airy meringue lightens the dense rice pudding as you eat it. So with this old-fashioned dessert in mind, I decided to maintain a similar design but change the flavors and textures. I made an almond-flavored rice pudding base, because I love almond and lemon together, and kept the base loose with lots of milk. And I topped this with a lemony meringue, which, after a little toasting in the oven, is a real showstopper. If you don't eat this pudding right away, it's also good cold, but don't let it sit in the fridge for more than a day or two or the meringue gets weird. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Combine the rice, milk, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is just tender (but not at all mushy), about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract and lemon zest. Pour into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and whisk until the whites form firm peaks. Sprinkle in the lemon juice a little at a time and continue beating until the peaks are firm and glossy.
  3. Heat the broiler. Spread the meringue on top of the rice pudding, using a spatula to nudge it to the edge of the baking dish. Place under the broiler to toast the meringue, about 1 minute. Don't take your eyes off of it -- it burns quickly!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • john
  • Tawny Duckworth
    Tawny Duckworth
  • pTsaldari
  • Marla
  • mcs3000
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

30 Reviews

Kimasai1 October 4, 2020
My son made this tonight. I think you should put when and how you add egg yolks as the proper recipe! Ingredients also said egg white.
Amanda H. October 5, 2020
Hi there -- the recipe doesn't call for egg yolks, only whites, which get whipped and added as a top layer.
Kimasai1 October 5, 2020
Ah I see... Is this recipe quite liquidy? Lovely taste but it was very much like soup.. I wonder if my son did something different but he was convinced he followed the recipe..
Thank you for your feedback.
Amanda H. October 5, 2020
It should be loose but not soupy. Maybe the heat wasn't high enough and the milk didn't reduce enough when simmering?
Kimasai1 October 5, 2020
Thank you! I will try this again. It was tasty but probably not reduced enough! Thank you.
Amanda H. October 5, 2020
Sure thing -- hope it turns out better next time!
john December 10, 2013
Made it. Delicious. Thanks very much for this one.
Amanda H. December 10, 2013
Thanks so much for giving it a try!
Tawny D. October 8, 2011
Just tried this. I was lured in by the lemon/almond combo. It was a bit loose for my liking, perhaps with less milk I would of liked it better. We are curious to see how it tastes cold, our baby loved it best, who knows maybe she has the most sophisticated palate in the family.Always fun to try new things!
pTsaldari January 6, 2010
Someone like me needs all but a gentle push with a bird feather to try something so mesmerizing. I applaud your choice! Very professional lay out and clean, crisp and enticing!
Atta Girl! That is why you got my vote!
Amanda H. May 30, 2010
Belated thanks!
Marla January 5, 2010
I have to admit, I am not usually a fan of meringue. That said I am loving the idea of the texture play here. The smooth, creamy rice with the crunchy topping. Can I combine both recipes as my favs? This is tough to judge. Can we put Merrills brown butter rice pudding under this meringue??
Amanda H. May 30, 2010
Yes -- that would be great!
mcs3000 January 5, 2010
I'll fess up too. Both are great recipes, but the meringue was the tie-breaker for me.
Ms C. January 4, 2010
May be unfair but the meringue is the sole reason this version got my vote.
Amanda H. May 30, 2010
I'm fine with that reasoning!
Cindy R. January 3, 2010
I have to vote for this one. It looks beautiful, I bet also taste great too.
Amanda H. May 30, 2010
Thank you (belatedly!).
gluttonforlife January 3, 2010
I'm a sucker for all things caramel, but I think you swayed me with this gorgeous meringue topping. I like Janneke's idea, especially since I prefer my rice puddings a touch firmer. Happy New Year indeed!
Janneke V. January 3, 2010
Happy New Year! Could you make this one up front, keep it in the fridge and just before you serve it, slide it in the oven for a bit with the meringue topping? I don't know if the cold pudding with warm meringue is a nice mix or maybe you should let it come to room temperature first?.
Amanda H. May 30, 2010
You could definitely chill it and do the meringue just before serving.
Rhonda35 January 2, 2010
eatboutique January 1, 2010
Oh my, I love meringue anything. (And caramel!) I don't know which to choose.
Maria T. January 1, 2010
How about 1/2 vote each, it's difficult to choose, bothe absolutely brilliant. Happy new Year.
Amanda H. May 30, 2010
Just saw this -- funny!
Lizthechef December 31, 2009
So hard to choose between the two of you! I am the champion burner of meringues to boot...Happy New Year!
mrslarkin December 29, 2009
Love the ease of this recipe. And quick too!
melissav December 28, 2009
Yum. I don't know how we are going to decide between your rice pudding and Merrill's. Both are going on my "must try" list!
Amanda H. May 30, 2010
Merrill's is on my list, too!
WinnieAb December 28, 2009
This sounds quite delicious and I love hearing about old recipes like Huntington pudding. Thanks Amanda!