I came up with this recipe recently, on accident really, as I was testing recipes for a review of the book Slow Cooking for Two. From the book, I made the easiest ever vanilla custard in the crock pot... and it was exactly like the custard that I remember topping my favorite rice pudding from my childhood. I've been trying to recreate this rice pudding with thick custard for years, and I've really truly finally done it!
This dish is even better than I imagined since the puddings are baked in the crock pot in little half pint jars. One jar is the perfect serving size and great for a picnic or breakfast on the go since you can just throw a lid on it and toss it in your purse!
I like my custard a little on the firm side, and my husband prefers his softer like pudding. You can go either way here by adjusting the cooking time. I would describe the firmer custard as more eggy and the softer as more creamy.
The custard pictured here is more creamy, because I love my husband and I am trying to convert him to a fellow rice pudding enthusiast. I also didn't add raisins to this pudding (again, for Steve) but if you're a raisin lover, I would add a good handful to the rice after it's cooked just before topping with custard and baking.
Crock Pot Rice Pudding
2 cups cooked white rice
2/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, combine rice, half and half, brown sugar and cinnamon. Bring to simmer and cook on medium low for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until thick. Divide evenly between four half pint canning jars (or similar sized ramekins).
In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Whisk together until smooth. Divide the liquid between the jars of rice. Place four metal jar bands in the bottom of a wide crock pot. Set a jar atop each band and cover each jar with a canning lid (no band). Fill the crock pot with hot water until the water reaches half way up the side of the jars. Cover and cook on low for about 2 hours, until the custard is set to your liking. If you like it soft and creamy, remove from the crock pot when the custard is still slightly loose when you jiggle the jar. If you like it more firm, remove when the custard is well set in the center. Cool and chill in the refrigerator for several hours. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and maybe a tiny bit of nutmeg before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge topped with a canning lid and band.