Rizogalo / Rice Pudding …
… many countries around the world have their own version of rice pudding and I bet every single one has a childhood memory or story attached to it .
My version , or should I say my mother’s version , is one that takes me back to our summers in Thassos island when me and my friends used to gather in the local square and play . Hunger would hit us between meals so we’d give each other 10 minutes to run home , grab a bite and rendezvous back to continue with our games . In the hot weather , there was always need of something cold and delicious but more substantial than an ice lolly to tie me over , and rizogalo ticked all the boxes .
The thing that makes it different than other versions for me is the rich layer of cinnamon on top , which makes sure you get a combination of all the elements in each spoonful. Also I like to add orange zest in the mix , as it gives it another layer of deliciousness.
I use ramekins to serve , because I think they allow for the right amount , not too much and not too little .
To make enough for 8 ramekins :
Cook 1 1/4 cups of rice pudding or risotto rice in 2 1/2 cups salted water.
When the rice is cooked and has absorbed most of the water , add 10 tbsp of light brown sugar and stir until it is resolved . Then pour in 1 litre of full fat milk ,apart from one cup’s worth , which will be used to dilute 2 tbsp corn flour .
Stir in the milk/ cornflour mix and bring to a gentle boil . Bring down to a simmer , add 2 tsp vanilla essence and the grated zest of 1 orange. Stir for a few minutes, until the mix starts getting thicker .
Take off the heat , pour into your serving bowls and let cool down . Once completely cooled , sprinkle as much or as little cinnamon as you wish on top and either cling film and stick them in the fridge to enjoy cold , or cover and leave on the kitchen counter to serve at room temperature.