Sweet, creamy, and thick, this 1920’s inspired Stovetop Rice Custard is a vintage recipe keeper! An easy stovetop dessert that you’ll want to make again and again.
Custard is a food that has been around forever…well, the sweet pudding-like version has been around since at least the Middle Ages. 1
The simple ingredients of milk and egg are the key ingredients that makes a custard a custard. Custards can be thick and savory (a mouthwatering bacon and cheddar quiche) or thin and sweet (a delicate silky-sweet creme anglaise).
It’s super versatile and there are so many different recipes for it throughout history.
Today’s recipe comes from the Picayune Creole Cook Book, just like last week’s hog head cheese!
I had Gramps look through the Picayune Creole Cook Book and along with the hog head cheese, this rice custard recipe stood out to him. His grandmother used to make it for him and he remembered loving it.
So, being the amazing granddaughter I am, I whipped up the Rice Custard recipe from the book.
There was only one problem…the ingredients didn’t list any eggs, but the directions did. This is actually a common problem with vintage and historical recipes. Either from little editing or the audience was trained cooks who were expected to know basic cooking skills, steps and ingredients were often left out.
Luckily for me, I had my lovely Gramps with me. He is a fantastic cook so I trusted him to guide me in the correct direction with the amount of eggs needed in this Stovetop Rice Custard.
“Use two eggs,” he distractedly yelled into the kitchen while he and my 13-year-old brother watched Macklemore’s “Downtown” music video (if you haven’t watched it yet, you must!).
I used two eggs, popped the thick rice custard mixture into the fridge and when we ate it the next day…it was delicious, but not as thick as Gramps remembered it. Everything else was on point, the sweetness, the orange flavor, all wonderful…it just needed to be thicker.
When I retested this vintage Rice Custard recipe, I added another egg and it was perfect. Gramps wasn’t with me for the retest, but I definitely will be making it for him again. When I do I’ll let you all know if the consistency is exactly how he remembers.
Don’t rinse the rice before cooking! Rinsing removes starch from the rice, but you want to keep all that starchy goodness to help with the creaminess factor in this recipe.
Want to learn more about the types of custards? Awesome! Check out Crafty Baking for a great breakdown.
Wondering why I tell you all to whisk some of the hot cream into the egg mixture? It’s called tempering, and Claire from The Kitchy Kitchen has a great video explaining it in her 10 Second Living series.
Sweet, creamy, and thick, this 1920's inspired Stovetop Rice Custard is a vintage recipe keeper! An easy stovetop dessert that you'll want to make again and again.
10 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1/2 cup calrose rice (not rinsed)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 nutmeg, freshly grated grated (plus extra for garnish)
- Combine rice, water, and salt in a medium pot. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, until water has been absorbed and rice is very soft, about 15 minutes.
- While the rice cooks, whisk eggs, sugar, orange peel, vanilla extract, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until foamy and pale yellow.
- Once rice is fully cooked and most of the water is absorbed, stir in the heavy cream. Return to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
- Slowly pour a ladleful, about 1/2 cup, of the hot rice and cream into the egg mixture while constantly whisking. Repeat as needed until the egg mixture is close to the same temperature as the rice and add it to the pot.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot, until the custard has thickened and coats the back of your spoon, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl or eight 4-ounce ramekins and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. Before serving top with a little extra freshly grated nutmeg.
Adapted from the Picayune Creole Cook Book