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  • 600 ml whole milk
  • 3 tbsp short-grain rice
  • a little sugar
  • 150 ml cream
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 3 tbsp short-grain rice
  • a little sugar
  • ΒΌ pint cream


Ambrosia is what the gods ate on Mount Olympus apparently, and they didn't leave us their recipe. My father, however, always knew that the true ambrosia was slow-cooked rice pudding and he developed a great liking for the tinned variety when we lived in Scotland. It was called, naturally, 'Ambrosia Creamed Rice'. I find it a bit mushy and old-tasting, so this is my version of freshly-made Ambrosia for the Christmas season. It is short-grain rice, simmered gently with full cream milk for about 40 minutes, cooled and slightly sweetened, and then folded together with whipped cream. Serve cold with summer fruit or some berry jam. (In the southern states of America, Ambrosia means pineapple or bananas with oranges, sugar and shredded coconut, and there are other variants - all of them appropriately heavenly.)

Getting ready

  1. Wash the rice in cold water and drain.

Cooking the rice

  1. Put the rice and the milk into a heavy-based saucepan and bring them slowly to the boil.
  2. Simmer very gently for about 40 minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally with a wooden spoon to ensure that the rice doesn't stick to the base of the pan. Don't cover the pan, you want the milk to evaporate slightly, and if it seems to be getting too thick, just add a little more milk.
  3. When the rice is well cooked and the mixture is still pourable, transfer it into a bowl to cool, and sprinkle with a little sugar to prevent a skin from forming.
  4. Once the rice is quite cold, whip the cream and fold it gently through.
  5. Serve in pretty glass dishes with fruit or jam, and leave it to your guests to mix the two together. The jam in the photograph is this season's rhubarb and strawberry; for that recipe see 'Ladies, a Plate', page 152. Serves 4-6.