I WAS fortunate to grow up around fabulous cooks. My mother and grandmother taught me to experiment with recipes, and we tried a lot of variations on this one. No matter how we chose to embellish it, it was always tasty. When I make this, it brings fond memories to mind.
-Laura German, North Brookfield, Massachusetts
I live in Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of the World, and what better way to celebrate our wonderful orchards than by using plump, tart dried cherries in my favorite desserts? This slow-cooked rice pudding recipe always turns out wonderful.—Deb Perry, Traverse City, Michigan
I can't think of a more comforting dessert than this pudding. The toffee bits add a crunch to its creamy consistency. Husband Frank and I enjoy making treats like this together. It looks especially pretty layered in a parfait glass.
As a girl, I always helped with canning and preserving fruit, including persimmons. Now I buy large quantities at the grocery store. I love to serve this unique dessert for fall and winter gatherings.—Opal Amidon, Garden Grove, California
"This quick rice pudding is yummy and so easy to make!" says Sheila Wilde of Welling, Alberta. She uses her microwave to prepare the creamy, lightly spiced pudding that gets a hint of sweetness from raisins.
Jennifer Eggebraaten's family enjoys this pleasing pudding all year long. "We love it because it only takes a fraction of the time of old-fashioned baked rice pudding," she writes from her Hastings, Michigan kitchen. "It's easily our favorite dessert."
In Shepherdsville, Kentucky, Debbie Skaggas warms up winter nights with this old-fashioned dessert. "My husband likes this dish served warm or cold," she shares. "it's a good way to use up extra rice."