Warm, spicy, inviting, creamy, delicious – all the wonderful things rice pudding should be. And to think that rice pudding is just a little rice boiled up in milk, cream, sugar and cinnamon. No special ingredients or techniques required (although cream is always special in my eyes) and perfect for this time of year.
My mom avoids turning on the oven like the plague. So rice pudding was one of the few homemade desserts my sisters and I had growing up. It is one of my mom’s specialties; so much so that she never measures anything while making it. Once I figure out her convoluted measuring system, I will bring you all her recipe. In the meantime, here’s one that comes really close.
While easy to make, rice pudding does require a bit of stirring to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You will thank the heavens once it’s done. The cinnamon and condensed milk give it a distinctly Latino flavor. And the creamy and tender texture is what dreams are made of.
Arroz con Leche
1 cup long grain white rice
4 cinnamon sticks
1 cup heavy cream
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
7 ounces (half can) sweetened condensed milk
In a medium bowl, whisk heavy cream, evaporated milk, sugar and condensed milk to combine and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, bring rice, cinnamon sticks and 1 ½ cups of water to boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, until the water has almost completely evaporated, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the cream mixture and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring very minute to keep the rice from sticking to the pan for 25-30 minutes until thick but still creamy.
Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon sticks. Let the pudding rest for 10 minutes. Spoon into serving bowls and serve warm.