Riz au Lait

Riz au lait is a timeless classic dish from French home cooking. It is loved by children and adults. Every mother has her own recipe which she hands down through her family and, of course, hers is always the best. I had a serious “discussion” with my Chef Patissier, M. Benoit Blin, whose mother’s recipe was entirely different to my mother's. We actually settled the argument in front of three million viewers on TV. We were both championing our mothers. You can prepare the rice pudding 1–2 hours in advance. The dish can be served with poached pear or peaches in vanilla and the rice can be first covered with caster sugar then caramelised under the grill.

Riz au Lait

Ingredients Required

1700ml Full fat milk (*1)
100g Caster sugar
2 tbsp Vanilla syrup (*2)
150g Short grain/pudding rice, washed in cold water and drained (*3)

Cooking Method

First cooking of the rice pudding in the pan:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 150°C.
  2. On a medium heat, in a large saucepan add the milk, sugar, vanilla, rice and bring to the boil.
  3. Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook the rice for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time (5 minutes) During the last 5 minutes of the cooking, stir slowly to prevent the rice from sticking. At this stage it will be three quarters cooked.

Second cooking of the rice pudding in the oven


  1. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the rice into a shallow baking dish.
  2. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Leave to cool for 2 hours. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
  4. Never serve straight from the oven. It will need to rest to give a more creamy texture making it more delicious!

Or to caramelise and serve cold 


  1. Pre-heat your grill to full.
  2. Cold rice pudding is also delicious, should you want to caramelise the top of the pudding. Sprinkle with the caster sugar evenly over using a fine sieve.
  3. Caramelise for 2-3 minutes under the grill.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.