Rice pudding – Homemade vs. store bought

One of my favourite desserts is rice pudding. I’ve heard that it’s really easy to make yet I always buy it pre-made at the grocery store. I’ve been hooked on Kozy Shak rice pudding for years. It’s so convenient and I find it really tasty. Is rice pudding that easy to make and am I better off making it from scratch? Or should I just keep buying it from the grocery store?

Prior to this taste test, my fellow food blogger (the sassy cook) and I conducted another experiment that involved trying six different types of rice to see which one would make the best rice pudding. From that experiment, we decided that we liked jasmine rice the most which is the type of rice we are using for this experiment.

Today we will be trying 5 different types of rice pudding. Three made from scratch and two that are store bought.

  1. Regular homemade (using whole milk)
  2. Low fat home made (using skim milk and less sugar)
  3. Gourmet – Coconut rice pudding with elderflower (from my food nerd friend)
  4. Kozy Shak – pre-made/store bought
  5. Canned rice pudding (PC brand)

Taste testers: Please try each type of rice pudding and comment on taste and texture. Which one do you like most? Is it worth making your own rice pudding from scratch?

My thoughts:
I think that the low fat version will come close in taste and flavour to the regular homemade one. I think the canned will have a processed or metallic taste due to the fact that it’s packaged in a can. I think that Kozy Shak will taste pretty close to homemade but I think the gourmet rice pudding will taste delicious and will be a good reason for making rice pudding from scratch in that you can play with different flavours.

 

The results:
The regular homemade rice pudding had the most flavour and you could really taste the flavour of the sugar and vanilla. The rice also had a good texture as it was soft but not mushy. The low fat rice pudding tasted bland compared to the homemade rice pudding. I reduced the amount of sugar by a third as I found the original recipe to be quite sweet and I could really taste the difference. I think the combination of using skim milk instead of whole milk and reducing the amount of sugar really compromised the overall taste. The fat in the whole milk definitely helps to carry the flavours of the sugar and vanilla.

I could really taste the coconut in the gourmet rice pudding. I couldn’t taste the elderflower however. This one was also tasty but some of the rice was still a little hard making me think that it was underdone. However, the flavour was definitely there. I can see it being served at a Thai or Malaysian restaurant. This was a good example of how you could experiment with a simple recipe and add different flavours to make you own variation.

Bottom line:
The Kozy Shak and canned rice puddings tasted bland, goopy and artificial in comparison. This was so upsetting for me to discover as I have always relied on Kozy Shak in the past as a quick and easy treat! After this experiment there is no way that I can every go  back to Kozy Shak. I’m going to have to start making my own rice pudding from now on. But the good news is that it’s cheap and easy to make.