Gramma Josephine’s Rice Pudding Recipe

rice pudding -

One of the best memories I have of my Gramma Josephine was her rice pudding.  She was a big Italian woman, permanently ensconced in an apron, who always seemed to have a wooden spoon in her hand and a pot of something boiling on the stove.  Although many of her meals I would not even dare stick a fork into (ahem… pigs feet), I always looked forward to her rice pudding.  And all these years later, that sweet smell of the rice pudding simmering on the stove takes me right back to being 10 years old and standing in her kitchen, watching her cook while Dean Martin played in the background.  Thanks for the memories, Gramma.

Gramma Josephine’s Rice Pudding


  • 5 cups whole milk (2% milk also works fine)
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Gently warm milk over medium-low heat.  Stir in rice and bring to a low simmer.  Cook uncovered 40-45 minutes or until very tender.  Stir frequently.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Set aside.
  • When the rice is done cooking, you will need to temper the egg mixture:  slowly add about 1/4 cup of the rice mixture to the egg mixture, while whisking.  Repeat.  Tempering the egg mixture will prevent the eggs from curdling or scrambling when added to the hot rice mixture.
  • Once the egg mixture is tempered, add it back to the pot with the rice mixture, while whisking. Continue to whisk briskly and cook over medium heat for about one minute.
  • Cool and refrigerate.

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