Old-fashioned Rice Pudding with Meringue Topping


Creamy and sweet old-fashioned rice pudding is always a delight, so when I came across a hundred-old-recipe for rice pudding with a twist, I was intrigued. The recipe called for topping the pudding with a meringue topping.

The meringue turns a favorite comfort food, into a tasty, slightly showy dish that is sure to impress.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine, February, 1916)
Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine, February, 1916)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Rice Pudding with Meringue Topping

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 eggs, separated

3/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons corn starch

1 cup cold milk + 2 cups hot milk (I heated the milk in the microwave.)

1 cup warm cooked rice

1 teaspoon vanilla or orange extract ( I used vanilla.)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl, then add 3/4 cup of sugar. Stir until smooth.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan (or double boiler, if available), stir the corn starch into the milk to make a smooth paste, then pour in the hot milk while stirring. Using medium heat, cook while stirring constantly until the mixture begins boil slowly and thicken. If a regular saucepan is used, be sure to carefully stir all the way to the bottom of the pan because this mixture will easily scorch.

Place a small amount (approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons) of the hot milk mixture into bowl with the egg and sugar, stir quickly. Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk mixture while stirring rapidly. Continue cooking for one additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in the rice and vanilla (or orange) extract. Put the pudding in an oven-proof serving bowl.  (Cook’s note: The egg is first combined with a little of the hot milk mixture to prevent it from turning into scrambled eggs when introduced into the hot milk mixture.)

To prepare the meringue, put the egg whites into a mixing bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form, then beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Spoon the meringue onto the top of  the pudding, and then swirl. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the meringue is a light brown.


57 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Rice Pudding with Meringue Topping

    1. A good thing about the internet is that you can enjoy desserts virtually. It’s almost as good as actually eating them. . . and there are a lot fewer calories. 🙂

    1. Yes, I’ll definitely make again. I liked the added flavor and texture of the meringue. If you like meringue toppings on pies, I think that you’d like this dessert.

  1. My mother’s recipe for rice pudding called for meringue. She didn’t usually top it off like that, but the instructions were there. She probably didn’t begin cooking until 1939.

    1. That’s really interesting. Based on what you said about your mother’s recipe, I’m thinking that it must have been a popular way of serving rice pudding in days gone by.

  2. Rice pudding — Risgrynsgröt — is a traditional Swedish dish for the holidays, especially Christmas Eve. It’s a little richer than this, and sometimes has raisins, but it never was served with meringue. This looks good. And, let’s face it: it would be a great way to practice making meringues without having to make a pie!

    1. mmm. . . the Swedish version sounds wonderful. You’re right, I did have fun making the meringue. There’s something entralling about swirling meringue on top of a dessert.

    1. There was a lot of stirring (and of course it took a little time to make the meringue–but that part was fun). This recipe made me wish that I owned a double boiler – then I wouldn’t need to worry so much about the bottom scorching.

      1. A great substitute is either a stainless steel bowl resting in a pot of water, or a colander of the right size resting in a pot, and place a glass pyrex mixing bowl inside the colander.

    1. Over the last few years I’ve become a fan of meringue. I seldom – well, to be honest, I don’t think that I ever – made meringue until I started making hundred-year-old recipes. It’s been fun discovering how wonderful meringue is, and how it can be used to enhance a variety of desserts.

    1. If you don’t like rice pudding, I think that the meringue would also be a tasty topping for other puddings. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking about making vanilla pudding and topping it with meringue.

      1. A relative used to put meringue on top of her banana pudding and then bake it until the meringue was browned. My mother never made her banana pudding with meringue, but I quickly learned to like the added taste.

        1. Banana pudding with meringue sounds wonderful. This comment and several others makes me realize that putting meringue toppings on puddings apparently was fairly common in days done by. I wonder why people don’t generally do it any more.

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