So Carlos and I have been together for what, 9 years? I have made rice pudding off and on all this time. I tried em all. Giada’s with arborio rice, Paula’s, I am sure Barefoot Contessa had one. Apparently rice pudding is a big part of Guatemalan cuisine. Why wouldn’t it be? They LOVE rice! The other day I realized I did not have many Guatemalan desserts in my repertoire. Many? I had one! Banana Bread! Which everyone loves. Even my in-laws like it. Which means a lot because they know their Guatemalan food. But I digress. Back to Arroz con Leche. I had the first attempt at a new recipe the other day. It took a bit longer to cook then I thought it would, so I had to quick cool it in time for dessert (spread it out on a sheet pan and throw it in the refrigerator after it had cooled a bit). Amazingly Carlos liked it! He is my biggest critic, but I totally respect his decision, along with my guinea pigs, I mean coworkers! So today I am making rice pudding again, this time with real sugar not the splenda version of the other day. It seems to be cooking quicker too. But that may be due to the bottle of wine and the Pandora playing on the computer! It is plain old rice pudding. No raisins or funky stuff. Just rice, milk, sugar and cinnamon. YUMMO. I wish it were done now! I will let you know what the guinea pigs at work think of it.
1 cup of uncooked white rice
Up to 5 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lime
4 cups of milk
¾ cups of sugar
In a dutch oven or large heavy sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, cinnamon stick, salt, lime zest. Let it cook at low heat, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes). When the 4 cups of water have evaporated, check rice to see if it is cooked. If it is still a bit hard to the teeth, add the last cup of water. Continue to cook over low heat until all water has evaporated.
When the rice is cooked, add the milk and sugar and let it cook as long as you want to get the consistency desired (around 40 minutes). Some like it runnier, others thicker. The arroz con leche will continue to thicken as it cools.
Traditionally the arroz con leche is then sprinkled with a bit of ground cinnamon.
For tasty alternatives add ½ cup of diced mango.