Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Belgian Rice Pudding (Rijstpap)

There is such a saying in Belgium, "In de hemel eet men rijstpap met gouden lepels", which literally means "In heaven, one eats rice pudding with golden spoons". I have not been to heaven (yes, the time will come, I know...) and I don't have golden spoons, but I like rijstpap for its simplicity. It is so simple yet the taste is so delicious and wholesome. 

This is a traditional dessert which is very popular in Belgium, and often sold in supermarkets either in the form of a pudding mix or as canned rice pudding. But nothing beats making rijstpap yourself at home. :)

(Recipe adapted from "Everybody eats well in Belgium" by Ruth Van Waerebeek) 

Belgian Rice Pudding (Belgische Rijstpap)

Ingredients (for 4 persons)
1 litre milk
100g long grain rice, rinsed and drained
5 tbsp sugar
1 cinnamon stick (2 inches long)
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
a pinch of saffron threads
brown sugar for garnishing (optional)

1. Add the milk, rice, and sugar in a heavy pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to separate the grains. Add the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean, cover and simmer over very low heat for 30 minutes or more, until the rice is tender and has absorbed the milk. Do not stir the rice during this part of cooking.

2. Add the saffron and cook 1 min more, stirring with a wooden spoon to separate the rich golden colour of the saffron.

3. Discard the cinnamon and vanilla, pour the rice pudding (rijstpap) into soup plates. Cool at room temperature. (You may also place in the fridge to cool faster.) Sprinkle with brown sugar before serving.

Smakelijk eten !

PS: See also belgian rice tart (rijsttaart) recipe.


  1. omg my nan used to make this for me and i loved it. can't wait to do it for myself thank you,thank you.

  2. Interesting how this "method" is not only different, but COMPLETELY different from the way I prepare my "rijstpap" after what I learnt from my mother (1960).
    Paul Staes


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