The Pioneer Woman Never Breaks These Two Rice Pudding Rules

Rice pudding is a classic comfort food, and given The Pioneer Woman's penchant for cozy home-cooked staples, it's no surprise that cookbook author and television personality Ree Drummond has shared a recipe for the dessert on her website (via The Pioneer Woman). She also filled her fans in on two rules for the sweet treat that she never ever breaks.

The first rule has to do with the type of rice you opt to use. According to Drummond, rice pudding isn't the type of dish where you'd want to work with long-grain rice. Standard medium-grain rice is the way to go in Drummond's book. She recommends Arborio rice, and though Arborio manages to plump up as it soaks in the liquid it's cooking in, it is actually considered a medium-grain rice (via The Spruce Eats). It may seem like a silly detail, but when a dish has as few ingredients as rice pudding, every component matters. Drummond's rule isn't necessarily the only way to go, though — Michelin-starred chef Gaetan Gentil's recipe uses short-grain rice for instance (via Fine Dining Lovers).

Drummond's second unbreakable rule for perfect rice pudding? She uses a non-stick pan. Given that you're cooking rice in a liquid mixture, you may not be too worried about the grains sticking to your cooking tool of choice. However, if she has a choice, non-stick is always the pan she grabs.

A few more tips for the perfect bowl of rice pudding

While rice pudding is a relatively forgiving dish, there are a few small tips that will help ensure it turns out exactly how you want it to. The first has to do with the cooking process itself. According to Fine Dining Lovers, low and slow is the name of the game for rice pudding. You want the sweet, milky mixture that you're cooking the rice in to be at a simmer, but not actually a boil. You should also keep an eye on it and stir it every few minutes if you want a perfect, creamy texture.

If you're worried about your rice cooking properly, another tip chef Gaetan Gentil gave to Fine Dining Lovers is to bring the rice to a boil in just the water for about 30 seconds before you introduce milk into the mixture. This simple step will help to break down the starch in the rice and your final dish will be even creamier.

Finally, create the perfect bowl tailored to your own taste buds by adding any mix-ins you may desire. Ree Drummond's recipe is a decadent one that incorporates bourbon-soaked raisins, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and a caramel-pecan sauce (via The Pioneer Woman). You could also serve a lighter version topped with fruit like poached pears, jam for a fruity kick, or simply a sprinkle of a warming spice like cinnamon and nutmeg (via The Spruce Eats).