This magnificent cookbook, Köchinnen und ihre Rezepte by Sabine Bolliger, was under the tree on Christmas morning (thanks Sam!).
It profiles ten women whose writing about food and household management helped to shape the Swiss kitchen, starting with Lisette Rytz-Dick, author of the Neues Berner Kochbuch from 1834. These women not only taught and wrote about cooking, but encouraged schooling for girls and more rights for women.
They lived varied lives in their time, some were mothers and housewives, nuns or pastors’ wives, devoted teachers or entrepreneurs, but they all wrote about food, developed recipes, and had a lasting influence on the Swiss kitchens of today .
The recipes are pulled from the original cookbooks and include everything from Alice Bircher’s version of her brother’s famous Birchermüesli, to Luise Büchi’s Barentatzen (no, not the cookie, actual bear paws).
I already have some of these old cookbooks in my collection (like Rosina Gschwind’s 550 Rezepte von Frau Pfarrer Gschwind, and Susanna Müller’s Das Fleissige Hausmütterchen), but Bolliger’s book puts their lives and the time in context (and the font is much easier to read).
So what does that have to do with Milchreis?
The book shares a recipe from Marie Uhlmann, born in Trub in 1850 and a passionate educator, who helped found a school for domestic sciences in Worb in the late 1800s. Her Süsser Reis mit Äpfeln sits the rice pudding on a bed of applesauce, and sprinkles with cinnamon sugar.
Perfect for a snowy day.
Milchreis is indeed just rice pudding, and although Uhlmann’s recipe lists no ingredient quantities, Tip Topf does—1 litre liquid to 150 g short grain rice.
1 litre milk
2 tbsp sugar
a vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 tbsp vanilla paste or extract
pinch of salt
150 g short grain rice
Bring the milk to a boil over medium high heat.
Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt.
Add the rice and reduce the heat to low.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until the rice is creamy.
For the creamiest possible rice pudding, an all-milk version is your best bet. For something slightly lighter, you can use 600 ml milk and 400 ml water.
I used arborio rice for this dish. Any rice that works for risotto, works for rice pudding too.
Serve with applesauce and cinnamon.