My grandmother's signature dish. She originally got the recipe from the Claridge Hotel in NY. This is a custard style pudding and is a family favorite. I can only make this one rarely, for special occasions, or I will be tempted to eat the entire batch. This takes a long time stirring, so having someone handy to help stir is a real plus. I have tried various milks in this, and the less fat the milk has, the longer it takes to thicken, so I highly recommend going with whole milk only...unless you enjoy stirring pudding for over an hour. Grandma usually would offer Cool Whip on the side as a topping, although I prefer no topping. When you chill this, leave off the cover or it will develop a "skin" - although as a kid, I would ask my grandma to cover my portions because I always liked it to have a "cinnamon skin." Once it is fully cooled, you may cover it.
- Put rice and milk in a 3 quart saucepan bring to just a boil, stirring constantly and watching the pot like a hawk so it doesn't burn or boil over.
- As soon as it just starts to boil, lower the heat enough to maintain a gentle simmer without burning the milk, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is very soft, keep stirring, so the rice does not stick to the bottom.
- Once the rice is soft, slowly stir in the sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg; it will still seem quite wet (this will thicken more upon cooling).
- A test for doneness is to stick a wooden spoon into the custard and then see if it coats the back, swipe your finger down the coating and see if the line remains;it is ready then.
- Ladle out a small amount of the custard base into a small dish and add the beaten eggs to it, whisking quickly, to temper the eggs.
- Return this mixture to the pot and stir.
- Cook another minute or so (to cook egg), then pour into a 2 quart casserole.
- Dust top completey with cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Chill well and serve nice and cold with Cool Whip if desired.