This comforting dessert is a wonderful way to end any meal. As a girl, I always waited eagerly for the first heavenly bite. Today, my husband likes to top his with a scoop of ice cream. —Sandra Melnychenko, Grandview, Manitoba
Preheat oven to 325°. Place first four ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish.
Bake, covered, 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Stir in raisins and vanilla; bake, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.
Test Kitchen Tips
Want super creamy rice pudding? Add an egg yolk or two. To avoid scrambling your eggs, remove a small amount of the hot mixture and whisk it into the yolk, then add all of it back into the dish. Make sure a thermometer inserted in the pudding reads 160 degrees; that means the yolk has cooked long enough to be safely eaten.
For a decadent treat, substitute dried cherries for the raisins and add a swirl of chocolate syrup.