The key to success lies in long, slow cooking and patience © Lisa Barber
Serves 4-6

Rice pudding is something people seem to either love or hate – an ambivalence perhaps rooted in memories of all those stodgy, bland versions we had at school. I love rice pudding: made well, it is sweet, gentle and delicate. The key to success lies in long, slow cooking and patience.

2 organic free-range eggs
3tbsp of caster sugar
1 cup of milk
1 cup of double cream
4tbsp of short-grained rice
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise
1 bay leaf
A good pinch of sea salt
One mango, sliced, to serve

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas3, and butter an 8-inch baking dish. Lightly beat the eggs with the sugar, milk and cream. Rinse the rice and place it in the baking dish. Pour the beaten mixture over the top and add the vanilla pod and bay leaf, tucking them in. Cover and bake in the oven for one-and-a-half hours until thick and creamy. Remove the lid and stir in the salt (this version has a good pinch of salt thrown in at the end like the Thai or Indonesian versions, which are both salty and sweet at the same time).

If you prefer a rice pudding with a brown crust, simply do not cover it while it is in the oven, and omit the salt, as the skin will get in the way. I served it here with mango – particularly good at this time of year.