Caramelized Rice Puddings

Photo: John Kernick
Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

A kitchen torch is an inexpensive, handy tool for quickly caramelizing sugar into crackled tops for these dense puddings made with Arborio rice. If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can brown tops under the broiler, but the sugar may not melt completely.


  • 3 cups whole milk

  • ½ cup Arborio rice

  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ cup cup granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • Pinch of ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

  • ¼ cup turbinado or other raw sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put milk, rice, and vanilla bean and seeds into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard vanilla bean.

  2. Whisk cream, granulated sugar, salt, yolks, and cinnamon in a bowl. Pour into rice mixture, stirring constantly. Return to heat; bring to a simmer. Divide among four 6-ounce ramekins set in a roasting pan; add boiling water halfway up sides.

  3. Bake until almost set, 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle tops with raw sugar, dividing evenly. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

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