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History Cookbook: Rice Pudding

This recipe is in categories Desserts, Stuarts
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  • Rice Pudding
    Rice Pudding
About this recipe
Healthiness : (65 votes)
Difficulty:  2 out of 5 difficulty
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour (approximately)

Stuart times were a period of great religious and political unrest.  England was a Protestant country but there was a huge minority of Catholics who plotted to return the country to Catholic rule (the Gunpowder plot being one outcome).  The Protestants themselves were split between the traditionalists (who wanted things to remain as they were) and the reformers (Puritans, who wanted to introduce a much simpler form of worship).  These differences culminated in the civil war between the Parliament and King Charles 1.

The ordinary people lived uncertain lives, fearing secret plots, civil unrest (eg riots), civil war and even invasion.  Throughout the country there were times when people did not feel safe in their own homes and villages. 

Rice pudding, made with eggs, was a filling and nutritious dish, just right for people on the move.  It was made expensive by the use of the spice, nutmeg, and of sugar.  Sugar was still expensive but becoming more widespread with the increasing imports from the sugar cane plantations in the West Indies. This increase was being made possible by the capture of people (mostly from Africa) who were enslaved and made to work on the plantations - the other side of the ocean from their own homes.

For pictures of the cooking process see our Rice Pudding Picture Gallery.

With thanks to Jan and Peter Hood  for their help with making this podcast. 

  • small bowl of rice
  • sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • grated nutmeg
  • a little suet
  • milk
  • a few drops of rosewater
  • a small bowl of breadcrumbs
  • a pinch of salt
  • Pipkin
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon/ladle
  • Whisk
  • Serving plate
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Add the rice to the pipkin
  2. Add the sugar to the pipkin
  3. Grate in a little nutmeg
  4. Add a little suet and a pinch of salt
  5. Add most of the breadcrumbs
  6. Add the milk and give it a good stir
  7. Place the pipkin near the fire
  8. Cover the pipkin with a lid and allow the rice to cook until it is soft and has absorbed most of the liquid
  9. Once the rice is cooked and soft, bring the pipkin to the table and leave to cool for a few minutes
  10. Whilst it is cooling, crack open two eggs into a small bowl and give them a quick whisk
  11. Once the rice pudding has cooled a little, add the eggs (you do not want to add the eggs when it is too hot or they will scramble)
  12. Add the remaining breadcrumbs and a few drops of rosewater and stir together
  13. Serve
Rice Pudding - print view  Rice Pudding - print view

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Name: Olga 19th February 2012
Looks aolesutbly divine Julia! My husband is a pretty basic person when it comes to baked goods too. His main requests are for chocolate chip biscuits, brownies or meringues he doesn't like anything too fussy. Odd things men are!
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