Monday, June 27, 2011

Welsh Rice Pudding (Whipod)

As I wrote All That Was Promised, I wanted to incorporate an authentic texture of Welsh life in the 19th century including authentic foods, dialects, history, and traditions. Mentioned in the journals of my Welsh ancestors, rice pudding, or whipod, was a perennial favorite. Staying true to this Welsh tradition I discovered a time-honored recipe for this delicious desert and offer it to you here. I have made it several times and can tell you it is rich and creamy, wonderfully flavorful, and guaranteed to satisfy! Enjoy!

Whipod (Welsh Rice Pudding) 
        4 cups half and half (or heavy cream)
        6 egg yolks
        2 egg whites
        1/2 cup white sugar
        1/4 cup raw sugar (turbinado)
        1/2 heaping cup of rice (arborio or other short grain rice)
        1/2 teaspoon sea salt
        1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
        1 cup water
        1 cup currants (raisins may be substituted if necessary)
1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine the 1/2 and 1/2, water, rice and cinnamon.  Bring to a low boil over medium-low heat, and then cover the pan and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.  Transfer the   ingredients to a large bowl, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

. In a large mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and egg whites together, then beat in the sugar until creamy.  When the rice and cream mixture has cooled, slowly whisk in the egg/sugar mixture into the rice.  (Make sure that the rice mixture isn't too hot, to prevent the eggs from scrambling)Finally stir in the currants.

. Pour this creamy/rice/currant mixture into a heat-proof bowl or pot and put into the oven to bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  After the first twenty minutes, remove from the oven and stir the mixture fully to make sure the rice and currants are not sticking to the base of the bowl.  And again, after 20 additional minutes, remove the pudding from the oven and stir everything, add a little more milk if the mixture is getting a little too dry. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes to develop a golden crust on top.  (The pudding will bake for a total of 60 minutes.)
. Serve warm or cold.  Refrigerate leftovers if there are any.

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