When my son Andrew was about 14 he played midget football. That is how I met Brad Spence, who grew up to become an extraordinary chef. Standing at the football field that day, I would never have imagined that possibility. But Brad apparently loved cooking and after college graduated from the CIA. He went on to cook and rub elbows with some of the superstars of the cooking industry.
Eventually he returned to his home town and got a position with Marc Vetri who has the hottest restaurant in Philadelphia. Brad went on to open Amis in Philadelphia and Connecticut. He developed an extraordinary ever changing menu but the one constant was his love for his Grandmother’s rice pudding. It was always on the menu.
Her name was Agnes Greth Spence, aka MomMom. Brad tells me, Agnes was known for her cooking and her athleticism. I imagine that is where Brad inherited those talents.
What follows is the recipe exactly as it appears in Marc Vetri’s cookbook
I am afraid the directions might be too light to read, so here are clearer directions:
Milk – 8 cups
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 6-ounce can
Arborio Rice – 1 cup
Unsalted Butter – 4 tablespoons
Sugar – ½ cup
Fine Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Vanilla Bean – 1 (alt. 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract)
Eggs – 4, beaten
Combine milk, sweetened condensed milk, rice, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pan, stirring until evenly dispersed.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is just tender, about 25 minutes, stirring now and then. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in the beaten eggs. Let cool in the pan and serve.
The pudding can be made up to 4 days ahead and kept in the refrigerator with the lid on. For a lighter texture, fold in about 2 cups whipped cream before serving.
See you soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette