Whew. Glad I got that off my chest. {Thank you so much for your kind comments..really, really heartwarming}

In other news, I ate rice pudding for breakfast yesterday.

This is significant because rice pudding was not a popular treat in our home growing up. That is not to say that other families in America didn’t enjoy the benefits of this beautiful, creamy delight (but, umm..did they?) It’s just that our place was more of a chocolatey….butterscotchy…poppyseed-y kinda joint.

Having said that, I secretly always loved tapioca pudding. I enjoyed how you could feel the pearls of tapioca rice in each mouthful…how you could roll those velvety little lumps around in your mouth this-a-way and that-a-way and then try to bite down on just one pearl which never seemed to work. I guess you could say that I loved the very thing about tapioca that puts many people off: the lump factor.

When I moved to Ireland, it took me awhile to get used to the Irish repertoire of confections. In particular, I found it peculiar that jam is used to sweeten many desserts and sweet treats. Jam on scones. Jam on sponge. Jam donuts. Jammy Dodgers. And, of course, jam on rice pudding. I had been accustomed to thick, buttercream frostings or custard fillings as a conduit to the sweet.

I discovered the glory of rice pudding shortly after moving out to the farm. We ventured to a lovely inn for a family Sunday lunch and in between bites of my roast lamb and three versions of potatoes, I noticed the constant flow of rice pudding in fancy dessert glasses being carried out by serious waiters to various patrons in the dining room. When it came time to order our final course, my mother-in-law, Peggy, ordered the rice pudding and I followed suit. It came with a dab of raspberry jam and a dollop of freshly whipped cream. It was ravishing. And, suddenly, jam made sense.

This week I received a long-awaited, anxiously anticipated parcel from my friend, Heidi Skoog. Heidi is a florist in Minneapolis and now also purveyor of gorgeous jams and jellies which are aptly named, Serious Jam. I got to sample some of her new jams over the summer and instantly fell in love. I couldn’t resist ordering some from her website to have in our cupboard for the winter. And, I specifically couldn’t wait to for this jam to grace the top of a dainty glass of rice pudding.

I found out later that rice pudding is actually Peggy’s favorite {with Victoria Sponge a close second} although she only eats it when dining out.  I decided to bake up a batch in the morning (with a taste-test for brekkie) and bring it over to share over tea yesterday afternoon. Popped a sprig of rosemary in the baking dish and topped it off with Heidi’s violette + plum jam and a wee bit of cream and that is all that needs to be said.

Happy days.

Recipe is pretty standard. Here it is excerpted from a classic Irish secondary school cookery book, All In The Cooking.{Moderate oven = 300 F or 150 C}

Slan Abhaile,


Photos & Styling by Imen McDonnell. Jam by Serious Jam.

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16 Responses to “Rice Puds with Rosemary & Violette Plum Jam”

  1. Melinda says:

    I’ve been enjoying your photographs. The food shots get lovelier with post!

  2. Paul says:

    Sounds great. Where was that inn, it also sounds interesting!?

  3. Parisbug says:

    Rice pudding in Norway, risengrot, is a staple for dessert, breakfast and even dinner! I grew up being the only one in my family LOVING it and my Norwegian grandmother delighted in making it homemade–just for me <3 We eat it warm with a giant patty of butter in the middle left to melt and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon & sugar–oh the sinful deliciousness! Though in the same vein as your jam flavouring, it is sometimes served with a rasberry juice, usually in the summer, no matter what, it's all good to me! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Catherine says:

    O’s mum has a battered copy of that book too, and still makes the brown soda bread from it (as does O himself)! The pud looks divine, and as for the jam… ouf.

  5. Janet says:

    Imen, funny you should post this. There’s been recent Facebook discussions lately about rice pudding with a core group of friends … all stateside. Evidently the change in seasons is bringing this craving out. I actually made a batch yesterday (before seeing your blog). Now I am going to have to try topping it with some Door County jam! Thanks for the idea!

  6. Móna Wise says:

    Rice pudding is a well loved treat in our house too. The Chef cannot come to terms with ‘liking’ it as much as the kids do. I think, like you Imen, he grew up knowing the American dessert and he just can’t shake it. We make ours with whole pieces of Cinnamon bark and a few cloves (in cheesecloth) with sugar in the raw and cream. It ends up having a rich butterscotch taste and is good enough for breakfast :0) Lovely snaps as usual Imen.

    • imen says:

      You are the second person to mention the cinnamon and sugar combo. Must try. Thank you for your comment. xx

  7. lisa says:

    Do you use regular rice? I recall using ‘pudding’ rice while living in Scotland. Rice pudding from a AGA stove was divine. Never did figure out what pudding rice was. And haven’t found it in the US .

    • imen says:

      I used pudding rice. I believe you can use pearl rice as well….should be available in specialty cookery shops? If not, I am sorry to tempt you! Thanks for your comment xxx

  8. Rice pudding beats all the chocolate cakes in the world. And with whipped cream and violette plum jam— I need to make this just to try it that way. Your cookbook is great

    • imen says:

      It’s a fabulous cookbook. I love rice puds now….yes, even beats choccy cake (except my dad’s fave). Thanks for your comment Sue. xx

  9. Lorilee says:

    My Granny (German) always made a dish called sweet rice. It was served with the meal. She cooked the rice in water and then in milk. She then added sugar and cinnamon. My boys love it.

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