earl grey rice pudding

October 22, 2010, Michaela Evanow, 2 Comments

If you have a voglie, you have a deep desire or wish. Food voglies can obviously come in many shapes, sizes, textures and smells. Autumn calls out the rich, spicy voglie for Earl Grey tea, buttery risotto, baked apples, butternut squash, nutmeg, flaky pastry, sweet oranges, and hot milky drinks, namely chai.

This week my voglie for Earl Grey, nutmeg, rose water and risotto caused quite a stir in the kitchen. I made two pots of two different but very similar items and inhaled them rather quickly. My voglie, deeply satisfied.

I have this deep respect for nutmeg. You can add it to mashed potatoes, which my mum did throughout my childhood. To this day, I can’t eat mashed potatoes unless I see little brown flecks of nutmeg, a sweet reminder that someone knows what they’re doing in the kitchen! Nutmeg compliments rice puddings, gingerbread, a variety of vegetables, including cauliflour, carrot, spinach, pumpkin, squash, and all sorts of fruits, but particularly apples.

Dried whole nutmeg is a thing to be reckoned with. It is rather soft when grated, although you do need a really nice grater so you don’t grate your fingertips. Inside the shell, squiggly brown veins colour the beige flesh, making a beautiful, if not eerie picture. Somehow the nutmeg looks alive. And, let me just tell you, whole nutmeg is far better than your average store bought, musty, crusty stuff.

Thank the heavens for Arborio rice. I hate rice. I have a hard time eating it, even when its stuffed between hot milk and spices. However, arborio rice is just divine. Risotto, something I never seem to eat, but always see being made on the Food Network, puts me at ease. It’s like orzo created a beautiful stubby love child with rice, just for me.

Earl Grey Arborio Rice Pudding


  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 tsp loose leaf Earl Grey tea wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 1/2 cup Arborio Rice
  • 2 cups almond milk (substitute whole milk if you wish, but not soy.)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (white, brown or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon rose water (you can purchase rose water at your local Persian/Indian market)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom seeds

Directions: Bring water, salt, Earl Grey tea and butter to a boil in a medium pan. Add the rice, return to a boil, and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Stir for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed, but rice is still al dente. The rice should be a light brown if you’ve added enough tea!

Next bring almond milk, sugar, vanilla, rose water, cardamom, and cinnamon to a simmer in a separate saucepan. Add the cooked rice and simmer over medium-low heat until rice absorbs most of the milk and mixture starts to get thick and silky, about 15-20 minutes. Make sure you are stirring the pot often. It may take less time with cow’s milk.

Rose & Bergamont Chai


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup rose water
  • 2 Earl Grey Teabags, or loose leaf.
  • 1-2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 green caradamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 orange slice

Directions: Bring water, almond milk, Earl Grey tea, cinnamon, cardamom and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat. While simmering and milk tints to a smooth brown, add rose water, nutmeg and orange slice. Let simmer until desired strength is reached. Strain and serve.

Once you sip this beauty, your taste buds will travel all the way to Istanbul and back, as the rose water adds a rich, exotic flair. Oftentimes rosewater is lost in the mix, but in this chai recipe, you’ll find it!


  • Reply Lisa October 23, 2010 at 4:51 AM

    Yum! Thanks for the inspiration. Did you know the cinnamon stick in the photo is actually cassia? True cinnamon is thin and will flake when lightly crushed, whereas cassia is wood-like and tough. Cinnamon offers many health benefits which cassia does not. Although, cassia sticks work really well in hot drinks! 🙂

  • Reply Teri Shortreed October 23, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    I love your writing Michaela… and your cooking, by the looks of it! I will try this one out. (I’m still planning on making the borchst too!)

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