Nan’s Classic Rice Pudding

by Barry Lewis


Classic Rice Pudding

Long grain white rice

Boiled water

2 tbsp sugar



Homemade Strawberry Jam

500g strawberries

250g jam sugar



Today we’re not just cooking, we’re reminiscing, laughing, and maybe even getting a little emotional. From boiling the kettle to stirring the pudding, and from hulling strawberries to simmering the jam, we’re doing it all the old-fashioned way, thanks to my nan’s original rice pudding recipe. And yes, that means using a bowl from the 80s!

This video was absolute chaos in mum’s kitchen, and not just about the cooking! We’ve got surprise guest appearances from Tommy, Charlie, Walter, and Bobby. We’re also talking about everything from 3D printers to fitness trampolines, and even discovering some unexpected items in Mum’s fridge. And of course, we tasted our creation at the end and brought back a few emotional memories. Watch the video to find out if it tasted just like nan’s!

Now I can’t promise you that this will be much of a recipe, but I’ve done my best to type it up for you below if you want to give it a try. Not even my mum was sure where we started, apart from…rice?!

Nan’s Classic Rice Pudding Recipe

So first get your kettle filled up and boiling (and if you need a new one like my mum, maybe order it before you start cooking – same goes for quilts!). While the kettle’s on, cover the bottom of your 80s dish with rice. Some people use pudding rice or a type of risotto rice, but we go for the good old classic long grain rice. Then just pour the boiled water over until it covers the rice (or “up to the ridge in the bowl”?!).

And like my mum says, we’re not saying this is right, it’s just nan’s way!

Pop the dish onto the top shelf of a preheated (ideally!) oven for…well, no idea how long – until the rice has absorbed all the water and is fluffed up. While the rice and water are cooking, you can make the jam (see below).

Put a couple of tablespoons full of sugar on top of the rice to cover it, then stir it in – ideally not with a metal spoon, sorry internet! 

While stirring, pour in enough milk to fill up the bowl, then chuck in a knob of butter. Pop it back into the oven and leave it to do its stuff! You’ll know it’s ready when you’ve got a nice brown skin on the top.

Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe

Take the tops off your strawberries then chop them up into rough chunks to help them break down easier when they’re cooking.

Now the sugar you use for homemade jam wants to be a specific jam sugar which contains pectin. Add 250g sugar to the strawberries in a pan along with the zest and juice of a lemon mixed with 50ml water – even better if you can use a dog-chewed zester and lemon juicer from the 80s! You can leave this for a few hours or overnight for the sugar to absorb into the fruit, or you can do it straight over the heat like we did.

Stir the mixture up until the strawberries are mushy, then let it simmer away until it reaches 100C (212f) on a thermometer – which doesn’t need to be cracked at the exact point you need it, but handy if it is, especially if you’re not wearing your glasses!

At this point, you can mash the fruit down a bit if you like so it goes more pulpy but still has some texture to it. If you prefer a smoother jam, you can whiz it all up at the end or chop the strawberries smaller at the beginning.

Dollop a big spoonful of this on top of your finished rice pudding (don’t forget the skin!), then save the rest for another day in a sterilised Kilner jar.

Remember, cooking doesn’t always have to be serious – it’s all about having fun, making memories, and of course, enjoying some delicious food at the end of it all.