Sutlac is a delicious Turkish dessert. It’s creamy, light and has a bubbly golden brown top. This sutlac recipe is like a mix between a thick custard and a rice pudding, creating a beautiful Turkish baked rice pudding.
I’d like to tell you that I learnt how to make this Turkish rice pudding recipe from a mysterious but unusually wise chef during my visit to Turkey. I’d like to say that I was sitting there eating baklava when an otherworldly mentor found me and began educating me on the ways of Turkish cuisine, specifically fırın sütlaç (what Sutlac is called in Turkish). But that just wouldn’t be true.
I was introduced to sutlac while comfortably sitting in my hotel’s restaurant. A waiter suggested it to me, describing it as a Turkish rice pudding recipe. It was served in clay cups at the hotel, but I also witnessed it served in small bowls at a local restaurant I visited.
What is Sutlac
Sutlac is a delicious Turkish dessert. It’s creamy, light and has a bubbly golden brown top. This lovely dish is pronounced Soot-laahch. Sutlac is a baked rice pudding made with rice, milk, sugar and a few other ingredients.
Sutlac is a time intensive dessert recipe, but the amazing taste and creamy texture is absolutely worth it. The key to an amazing Turkish Rice Pudding is using fresh milk, constant stirring and loads of patience.
- Wheat starch
- Granulated white sugar
- Heavy cream
How to make Turkish rice pudding
In a deep saucepan, add 2 liters of milk and your rice and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Continue cooking for 1-1.5 hours, stirring intermittently so that it doesn’t overflow and the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook until the milk has reduced and the rice is fully cooked.
Now, add in the other 2 Tablespoons of milk and the wheat starch and cook for another 2-3 while stirring.
Next, add in sugar, salt, and cream and stir while cooking for a further 5 minutes. It should still be slightly thick yet have a liquidy component. Turn the stove off.
Grab your bowls and divide the rice pudding into each one, making sure to mix what’s still in the saucepan after you’ve poured some into each bowl so that your rice-liquid mixture is even.
Turn on the oven’s upper grill setting (this is also known as the broil function). Put your bowls of rice pudding in a deep baking dish and fill it with boiling water halfway up the dish.
Put your baking dish with bowls of pudding in the oven on the middle rack and bake until the tops turn a golden brown in color of your choosing.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and let sit on the counter to cool down to room temperature. Once it’s cooled, place in the refrigerator and serve with hazelnuts if desired.
- If looking to make a dairy free rice pudding recipe, you can use coconut milk instead of regular milk.
- Try topping your bowl of sutlac with hazelnuts, raisins or sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Don’t rinse the starch off your rice, leaving it on will help thicken your dessert.
- When storing your dishes of Turkish Rice Pudding, don’t cover them too tightly with plastic wrap. If you do, any condensation could form on the covering and could possibly change the texture of your Sutlac if it falls into it.
- If you don’t have clay bowls or ovenproof dessert cups available, you can substitute with disposable aluminum pudding cups.
What kind of rice to use
To make the best Sutlac recipe, you want to use a short grain rice. Turkish rice is a great kind of rice to use. Baldo and Osmancik are popular short grain rice types to use. You can also use Arborio and if in a real pinch, you can use Jasmine rice.
However, I don’t recommend using long grain rice like Basmati. It just doesn’t turn out as well as using any of the above mentioned short grains.
Using low fat or nonfat milk for this recipe
Using whole milk is what works best for this creamy Sutlac. It’s what brings that creaminess you dream of and what brings part of that wonderful rich flavor that you adore.
If needed, you can use 2% milk in a pinch but it won’t be as creamy as when using whole milk.
Because you want a creamy baked rice pudding, I don’t recommend using a low fat or nonfat milk for this recipe. They will definitely change the texture and flavor.
Can I use cooked rice to make rice pudding?
Yes bestie, you absolutely can use cooked rice to make this rice pudding. Using cooked rice makes this already easy recipe even easier!
Making sutlac is actually a great way to use up plain cooked white short grain rice.
How long should I cook the rice?
How long you should cook the rice could vary depending on what rice you choose to use. Generally, I say to cook the rice an hour to an hour and a half.
Check on the doneness of your chosen rice during this time and adjust as necessary. You may require more or less time.
Also, make sure to stir the rice as it cooks so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Why is broken rice preferred in rice pudding?
Broken rice is preferred for Turkish rice pudding because it cooks faster and releases its starch faster than many other forms of rice.
Using broken rice reduces the cook time and doesn’t let as much milk evaporate, giving you the perfect creamy texture and taste you’re looking for. If you don’t have broken rice, you can grind yours down a bit or break it down using a mortar and pestle.
How To Serve
Serve your Sutlac at the end of a meal as a dessert. It goes great with a nice cup of hot Turkish tea or any black tea.
Your rice pudding (Turkish style) can be served with a dash of cinnamon on top with any nuts or raisins. I like using hazelnuts on top of mine.
If you really want to mix it up or Westernize the dish, you can experiment by adding a little vanilla extract (I’d guess the best time to add it is while the white rice is cooking – ideally the hot mixture should still be simmering). Just be warned, even a teaspoon vanilla extract can provide a fairly strong flavor as their aren’t many competing flavors in this slow cooking dish.
More Turkish food recipes
Cover your pudding with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Sutlac doesn’t normally last that long in my home because we can’t stop inhaling it, so I usually try to also make a Dark Chocolate Pudding when I need more sweet treats.
You can attempt to freeze this baked rice pudding recipe in the freezer by storing it in the individual bowls, wrapped with plastic and then aluminum foil for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before serving.
However, freezing it may change its texture when you go to thaw it. Keep this in mind before choosing to freeze this dessert recipe.
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A large saucepan is helpful to have when cooking Sutlac. You can get by without it, but life’s just easier with it (and it’ll be useful for a lot of other recipes too!).
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I hope you’re excited to make the best Sutlac recipe out there. It’s full of so much flavor and is a fantastic dessert recipe that everyone will love.Print