A childhood favorite of mine is Arroz con Leche, a simple yet sweet treat that has different variations throughout Latin America! Even within the same country everyone makes it their own way and it’s amazing how a dish like this can be so familiar but different at the same time. For example, a lot of people use condensed milk and/or evaporated milk. Some make the pudding itself runnier, like a thick soup and others (like myself) make it thicker like a custard. There are also different toppings, cinnamon, dried fruits, coconut flakes, etc. So the base of this recipe comes from my mom, of course with my own tweaks. Personally I like my Arroz con Leche to be custard like with pretty much only milk, sugar and the ONLY topping…ground cinnamon. It does take time and effort but I promise it’s so worth it!
Yields: 6 cups Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
- 1 cup White Rice
- 2 1/2 cups Water
- 1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch (optional)
- Ground Cinnamon (optional)
Rinse and drain rice to rid of any extra starch.
In a large pot bring water, cinnamon and rice to a boil on medium-high heat.
Once it comes to soft boil, lower the temperature to the lowest setting, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
*This is how I personally cook long grain white rice. Different grains of rice cook differently, more or less water and or time. Cook according to the package or to what you are used to! You just want soft and fluffy white rice.
When rice is soft, lightly fluff to make sure nothing is sticking/burning and rice is cooked through.
Do not remove the cinnamon stick, it will continue to give more flavor!
Right after fluffing the rice, quickly pour the milk.
At this point, if you want the pudding to be runnier like a soup, add another cup or two of milk until you get your desired consistency.
Add sugar, gently stir in and bring to a simmer.
Okay I’m putting this in bold because you need to read this!
Do Not Step Away at this point! The sugary milk can easily burn if you let it sit too long without stirring. You can take a small break for a bit but make sure you’re near it.
Also stir gently, you don’t want the rice broken down and mushy.
When the milk becomes warm, take about a tablespoon or two in a small bowl and combine with the cornstarch.
If you are making a runnier pudding, please omit this step!
Add the cornstarch slurry back and combine. Give it a couple of minutes and it will soon thicken.
If you can scrape the pot with the back of your spoon and it slowly comes back together, you are good to go!
Serve and sprinkle ground cinnamon on top and enjoy while it’s still warm!
Any leftovers refrigerate in a tightly sealed container. This also tastes great chilled.