Arroz con Leche aka Rice Pudding is honestly one of the most comforting desserts that I like to make. It immediately transports me to my childhood when my grandmother would have little bowls of rice pudding waiting for my cousins and I after school.
There’s something so nostalgic seeing the little bowls on the counter and in the refrigerator. Arroz con Leche is an affordable and easy dessert to make.
Growing up, we ate rice and beans religiously, which meant that there was ALWAYS leftover white rice. A great way to stretch that rice and make sure that leftovers didn’t go bad was to make rice pudding. There was always a fresh batch of Arroz con Leche made every week.
Rice pudding is a very personal dish. Over the years, I’ve seen many remix it and add all kinds of toppings like chocolate, coconut, caramel and more. However, for me, that classic Dominican and Caribbean Arroz con Leche flavor will always be supreme.
A Dominican Style Arroz con Leche is special because its flavor profile is very particular. We start off by mixing together evaporated milk and regular milk. Evaporated milk itself is subtly sweet and gives desserts like this an extra special flavor. However, the most notable difference between Dominican Style Rice Pudding and regular rice pudding is the lime peel. The lime peel gives it an authentic flavor. In fact, whenever I have regular rice pudding, I always feel like there’s something missing no matter how much sugar and cinnamon I add. That’s because the lime peel is truly the secret ingredient! The oils from the lime peel gives this dish just the right amount of citrus bump!
Now it’s also no secret that there’s a ton of different ways of making Arroz con Leche. You can make it the traditional way in one pot, however, I find that this takes a little longer. Also, if you don’t allow enough of the water to cook off, you risk your Arroz con Leche tasting a little watery and dare I say– off. These days, I make my rice pudding almost exactly as my grandmother did by cooking the rice first and then adding it to the cream. This allows you to get the perfect consistency, flavor, and texture that you want. It also allows you to save a little time.
- 2 Cups Cooked White Rice (Long or Medium Grain)
- 3 Cups Evaporated Milk
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 1 ½ Cups of Sugar
- 2 inch Lime Peel
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Ground Cloves
- Ground Cinnamon for Garnish
- Sweetened Condensed Milk *optional
- Coconut milk *optional
- Raisins *optional
- Wash rice and cook thoroughly. In order to save time, make rice extra fluffy than usual
- Once the rice is cooked, set aside. Then heat up milk, cinnamon sticks, ground gloves, and lime peel. Keep extra milk on hand in case rice pudding becomes too thick. After about 7-10 milk (once milk is thoroughly warmed up) add the rice
- When adding the cooked rice, incorporate it completely into the warm milk-cinnamon mixture. Be sure to break up any clumps. Continue to stir until all of the clumps are broken up. If using leftover rice, cook rice in milk for an extra 5-10minutes until rice is completely soft. You may have to add extra milk
- Once all of the clumps are broken up, add sugar. Feel free to add as much or as little as you like. You may also use sweet condensed if you prefer. Once you add the sugar, stir constantly as the sugar will begin to caramelize. If possible, use a nonstick pot to avoid milk and sugar from burning. Continue to cook the Arroz con Leche - Rice Pudding until it reaches desired thickness. If the rice pudding is too thick, add extra milk. If the rice pudding is too runny, cook for longer. Note that the rice pudding will thicken as it cools. Once the rice pudding is done, remove lime peel and cinnamon sticks. Enjoy warm, room temperature, or cold. Feel free to garnish with ground cinnamon