Whether they're homey or luxe, stovetop rice puddings have one thing in common: They come together fast. Many recipes (like CHOW's Creamy Rice Pudding with Broiled Plums, pictured) call for short-grain rices (especially risotto varieties like Arborio), which give off plenty of starch as you stir them, yielding an exceptionally creamy texture.
HillJ makes a "super simple" stovetop pudding flavored with coconut milk. She combines 1 3/4 cups coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup Arborio rice, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and brings the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. She then lowers the heat and simmers, stirring often, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. She stirs in 3 tablespoons honey, then lets it stand off heat for 5 minutes before serving.
When you want something a bit richer, try this rum raisin rice pudding, made with half-and-half and an egg. It's "[p]erfect every time, and [I] have even converted non–rice pudding people with this!," gingershelley says. Paris restaurant L'Ami Jean is famous for its rich rice pudding, which Judith Gorman re-creates at home with this recipe.
Photograph by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com