Spring is upon us, and once again the maple sap is flowing in the trees. Although REAL maple syrup is a sugar, it is a healthier option than commercial brand syrups, which are made from high fructose corn syrup and maple flavoring. Real maple syrup is much more than a simple pancake or waffle topping. It can be used to replace sugar in most recipes, with some adjustment for the liquid in the recipe. Many communities have maple sugar festivals and celebrations this time of year. This is the perfect time to buy some REAL maple syrup and try it as a sweetener. This recipe is another from the old 19th century family files. Then as now, winters could be long, and spring could be slow to arrive. But tapping the maple trees every year and making maple syrup always seems to hurry spring along.
MAPLE RICE PUDDING
Rinse one cup of rice (brown or white) and place it in a rice cooker. Add water to barely cover the rice. Bring it to a boil.
Immediately add 5 cups of milk to the rice. Let the milk scald, then reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let the pot simmer on low for about 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Watch the pot, and stir it often. If the rice and milk thicken, or if the rice begins to stick, add more milk.
Mix together in a small bowl:
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup real maple syrup OR honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
If you don’t have a nutmeg grater, use one teaspoon nutmeg powder
Turn up the heat to medium high, and stir the egg mixture into the rice. Continue stirring the rice until it thickens. Remove from heat.
Serve this warm or cold.
It never makes it to “cold” at my house…
Try using honey instead of the maple syrup for a different taste. The plain rice pudding is an ideal base to test the flavor of different wild honeys. Stronger flavored, dark honeys are especially good in this recipe.
Cinnamon makes a good substitute for nutmeg, or add both!