The Tudor Society

Tudor Cooking with Claire – Rice in Almond Milk

One of my favourite comfort foods is rice pudding so I decided to look through my medieval and Tudor recipe books for a 15th/16th century version. Unfortunately, what was known as a "pudding" back then was food cooked in animal intestines, i.e. sausage skins, like black pudding and sausages today. In Peter Brears' book Cooking and Dining in Tudor and Stuart England, he gives a recipe for "Rice Puddings" which involves packing cooked rice mixed with milk, mace, suet, currants, nutmeg and cinnamon into sausage skins and boiling.

After doing some more digging, I then found that a rice in almond milk recipe was included in a manuscript from the 15th century and that various websites had modernised it for use today. The original recipe reads:

"lxxxvj. Rys. Take a porcyoun of Rys, & pyke hem clene, & sethe hem welle, & late hem kele; then take gode Mylke of Almaundys & do ther-to, & sethe & stere hem wyl; & do ther-to Sugre an hony, & serue forth."

Source: Harleian MS 279, available in Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, ed. T. Austin, Early English Text Society Original Series.

Note: "seethe" means "boil".

The recipe I used in my video is based on one from with the addition of nutmeg and cinnamon.

1 cup rice (uncooked) - Any rice, I used Spanish paella rice.
1 cup almond milk - You could use any milk.
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup honey

Cook the rice according to the instructions for your type of rice.
Mix in the almond milk, sugar, honey and spices.
Bring to a simmer and then serve.

I left the dessert to sit and go cold and then ate it cold with my lunch and it was lovely. It had soaked up more of the milk by then.

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