If there is ever a dessert/dish that instantly transport me to my childhood it is Arroz con Leche aka Rice Pudding. I have so many memories of watching my grandmother stand at the stove stirring and stirring a creamy deliciousness that is Arroz con Leche. I remember standing on a chair as she explained to me what to add when and what to look out for. I remember doing a happy dance when she should use leftover white rice to made rice pudding because no food ever went to waste in the house. We were too poor and there were too many mouths to feed so we hardly ever threw out rice– especially white rice.
Arroz con Leche is a staple Hispanic and Latin dessert. It can be made in a variety of ways all of which instantly tie back to a certain region or country and even household. For example, you can make Arroz con Leche with whole milk, cream, evaporated milk, or mixing milks. I only use evaporated milk because I love the velvety sweet richness of it. Yet there are others who mix milks. No matter what you do, Arroz con Leche will not fail you. You can season it to your taste adding as much cinnamon as you wish, sugar, cloves, vanilla and more. You can alter it to your taste buds, which is one of the most beautiful things with this dessert. You can even sweeten it with sweetened condensed milk for added creaminess.
My recipe calls for cinnamon, cloves, and a lime wedge which gives this Rice Pudding that classic taste that I remember from my childhood, which I love. Hopefully you will like it. If you would like to see a step-by-step tutorial on how to make this dish, then feel free to click here and let me know if you have any questions.
- 2 cups of rice
- 4-5 cups of water
- 2-4 cinnamon sticks
- Lime peel ~ 4 inches wide
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups evaporated milk
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 1-2 cups of sugar or to taste
- ½ tbs cloves *optional
- 1 tbs butter *optional
- Cinnamon powder to garnish
- Add some water into a large pot followed by some cinnamon and bring to a boil
- Once boiling, add some rice. Be sure to wash your rice a few times before adding. I typically wash my rice about 2-3 times.
- After you add your rice, be sure to mix it altogether. Arroz con leche is somewhat of a tricky dish to make because you have to stir constantly. You want to make sure that the rice never sticks to bottom of the pot.
- Continue stirring the rice until the rice softens. If the water dries up before the rice is soft, then add more water. You can also use leftover white rice and skip these first initial steps completely.
- Once your rice has softened, add the evaporated milk and stir.
- Then add the cloves which will compliment to the cinnamon really well followed by the vanilla extract, a lime wedge and a pinch of salt. The salt it going to balance out all of the flavors, especially the sweetness. Mix together.
- After mixing, let the milk, rice, and seasonings come to a simmer. Just to be safe, lower flame to medium low and continue to stir so that the cream doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom.
- Once it begins to simmer, add the sugar to your liking. You can even add sweetened condensed milk.
- Once you add the sugar, continue to stir it constantly making sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Now let your arroz con leche thicken to how you like it. There are some people who like their rice pudding runny but I like it thick. Cook it to the thickness that you like.
- Once the arroz con leche reaches your desired thickness, add some butter. This step is optional but I like to add it because it evens out the texture of the dish.
- In the end, turn off Arroz con Leche and feel free to add more cinnamon! The more the merrier 🙂
In the end, there are two ways to eating Arroz con Leche. You can either eat it hot or you can eat it. I personally love it hot. Let me know if the description box below your favorite way of eating Arroz con Leche! Hot or Cold? Which team are you?!