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Rice Custard Recipe featuring Shagbark Hickory Syrup

When I was a child, my momma used to make rice custard with leftover rice. Not too many people think of doing this anymore these days. With my desire to repair, recycle, or reuse things, it only makes sense to bring this philosophy to the kitchen too! As it turns out, we rarely throw any food in the garbage because our chickens and dogs eat almost anything anyway. But this week I had more than enough rice to make this custard for dessert and didn’t want to throw it all out.

Shagbark hickory syrup gives new life to this rice custard recipe!
Shagbark hickory syrup gives new life to this rice custard recipe!

Rice Custard Recipe

This recipe is uses a cup of leftover rice, which makes about 3 medium-sized servings or 4 smaller ones. The one in my photo is 1/3 cup in a small glass pyrex bowl. I like┬á baking them in these small bowls because they come with covers and it’s easy to freeze and defrost small portions.

I use more eggs than most recipes call for, with the aim to have about 1 egg per serving. This probably began because I couldn’t get the kids to eat eggs, so I’d “hide” them in dishes like this. It also makes me feel a little better about eating a sweet dessert if I’m also getting a nutritious egg with it. And there are times when I have so many eggs and am looking hard for ways to use them. That’s when I make custards and puddings. Or quiche.

  • servings: 3
  • serving size: 1/3 cup


  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • whole milk (about 1 cup, low fat or skim will not taste as good but will work)
  • 3 farm fresh eggs (store bought will work)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of raw sugar (white sugar works too)
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of shagbark hickory syrup (ours is best, but the recipe will work with maple, honey, or none ­čśë


  • Put the rice in the container you intend to bake it in. Pie pans will work, but anything that can go into the oven will work. Don’t pack the rice, just loosely fill.
  • Add the three eggs to a 4 cup measuring cup and enough┬ámilk to bring it all to 1 1/3 cups.
  • Add about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,┬áthe teaspoon of vanilla,┬ásugar and shagbark hickory syrup, and the melted butter.
  • Use a whisk to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
  • Pour over the top of the rice and allow to settle into the loose spaces.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  • Bake in the oven at 350*F for about 45 minutes or until custard is set and no longer too wet and “jiggly”. A little jiggle is okay, it’ll set up after you pull it out of the oven while it cools.

Drizzle a little more of the shagbark hickory syrup over the top just before serving. Enjoy!

Here’s a print-friendly version of this page if you’d like to print it out at home: Rice Custard with Shagbark Hickory Syrup

What else to do with leftover rice? Use it in stir fry!