Vanilla rice pudding

Makes 4 servings

No one ever grows tired of rice pudding, the classic comfort food from childhood days. Dress it up for grown-ups by substituting almond extract for the vanilla extract. I like to serve this wholesome dessert topped with slices of juicy fresh peaches.

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1 ½ cups cooked white rice (cook until soft rather than firm, cool before using)

1 ¼ cups half-and-half

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon salted butter

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Combine the rice, half-and-half and sugar in a medium nonstick saucepan; bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until the cream is partially absorbed into the rice but the mixture is still very creamy.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla extract, and a scant pinch of salt.

Transfer to small dessert bowls and serve warm. Or when the pudding is cool, cover the dishes with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to serve later the same day.