Make Ahead

Rice Pudding with Sesame Crumble and Blueberries

August 24, 2015
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

The recipe for the rice pudding comes from my mom, Risa, but I'm not sure where she got it. It's simple and unfussy. One time, my dad made it and forgot to add the sugar—I don't recommend that.

This recipe is a time capsule—I'm sure it will exist on my mom's 3-by-5 in the acrylic box in the pantry post-apocalypse. It's less complicated than anything I usually make these days—no smoky spices or unusual dairy products or bain marie. It's pleasantly eggy and perfectly simple—all light and warmth, a knitted Afghan of a food.

Eat it while it's warm or do as I prefer: Let it glop up overnight and eat for breakfast in the morning.

The sesame crumble comes from Grace Parisi via Food & Wine: http://www.foodandwine...Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • For the rice pudding:
  • 1/2 cup rice (I use California long basmati rice)
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (scant) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the sesame crumble and the blueberries:
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
  1. In a large pot, bring 1 cup of water to a rapid boil. When the water is boiling, pour the rice in slowly. Do not stir. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover tightly, and cook for exactly 7 minutes. All of the water will be absorbed and the rice will be slightly undercooked.
  2. Add milk and butter and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook slowly for about 1 hour.
  3. Beat the eggs. Mix in the sugar and vanilla. Pour into the rice, stirring slowly, until the rice starts to thicken. Set the rice pudding aside to cool.
  4. Toss the blueberries with the raw sugar. Let sit for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the berries are vibrant, juicy, and slightly broken down.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the light brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and tahini and pulse until moist crumbs form. Add the black sesame seeds and pulse to combine.
  6. Spread out over a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are golden and crisp. Let them cool completely. Break up any extremely large chunks.
  7. Top the cool rice pudding with the macerated berries and sesame crumble.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Linda
  • Gloria Rohmann
    Gloria Rohmann
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
  • Lauren

16 Reviews

Lauren February 12, 2021
I love this recipe! It is such wonderful comfort food. I am obsessed with tahini so any opportunity to use it is awesome. I basically always have the ingredients on hand (Jasmine rice instead of Basmati, which works great) so I can make it whenever I have a craving. I have topped it with other fruit besides blueberries and it is wonderful with any sweet/tart add on. Today I made it with a little bit of coconut milk substituted for the part of the whole milk and it worked great too. JUST DELISH!
Linda February 23, 2018
Haven’t made the topping yet but just finished cooking up the rice pudding. It came out perfectly creamy and tasty. I used Tilda basmati rice and added a handful of raisins 30 min in. Eggs were room temp. I’ll put it in the oven now for a few minutes to get a brown crust top. Thanks for this variation!
Gloria R. April 25, 2017
Carolina medium grain rice was always my mother's choice, for rice pudding with raisins. She served it as a side dish with dinner (not too sweet).
frank September 23, 2016
I thought you said it wasn't complicated. California long basmati rice. Carolina medium-grain white rice? black sesame seeds. tahini. Raw sugar. I'm a cook but I don't have this stuff on hand!
Sarah J. September 23, 2016
Sorry about that Frank! You can really make the rice pudding without the sesame crumble and it will be delicious as is! Or use white sesame seeds instead of black.
Gabrielle'sCookin' March 8, 2016
The flavor of this rice pudding is right on the money, but I was concerned when I saw 5 cups of liquid (1 c water + 4 c milk) to a half cup of rice. Sure enough, it was runny - nothing like the picture (but still delicious!) Even 3 eggs were not enough to tighten it up. Before I make it again -- with less milk -- I wanted to check and see if anyone else had this problem.
Sarah J. April 13, 2016
Hi Gabrielle,

Sorry it was liquidy! I actually just made this again the other night for a co-worker's birthday and it turned out pretty firm—much more creamy than runny. What kind of rice are you using? And did you bring the mixture to a boil after adding the milk and butter? Whole milk, yes?

Happy to troubleshoot!
Gabrielle'sCookin' April 13, 2016
Sarah, I followed the recipe exactly...but did use arborio as I have in my other rice puddings. Is there a certain type of rice I should be using? Also, the recipe doesn't specify whole milk, so I' not sure what I used.....
Thanks for your help!
Sarah J. April 13, 2016
Sorry about any confusion. I always use California long basmati rice. Arborio rice would definitely affect the texture (though I would assume that it would make the pudding thicker, as arborio rice is so starchy!). The milk should be whole, yes! When we don't specify, we mean whole milk (but I will update the recipe so it's clearer!!).
Kat September 27, 2015
Is it possible to use brown rice without ruining the integrity of the recipe?
Sarah J. September 29, 2015
You can use brown rice, but you probably will have to adjust the cooking time. I'm not sure the pudding will be as rich and melty as it is when you use white rice, but I'm curious to see how it goes!
Kat September 29, 2015
Thanks! I think I'll follow the recipe as it is for the first time and try out brown rice when I want to experiment.
pangaea99 September 11, 2015
I think you left out how the berries become macerated.. Do you put them in the oven with the crumble?
Sarah J. September 11, 2015
Darn—you're so right! I'm updating it now.
Austin R. September 10, 2015
Is there a recommended type of rice?
Sarah J. September 10, 2015
I use Carolina medium-grain white rice.

Any kind of medium-grain white rice will work!