Growing up, my grandmother was the queen of Cuban desserts. I have a tremendous sweet tooth so I know good desserts when I taste them and I have yet to find anything remotely as delicious as my grandmother’s Arroz con Leche (rice pudding, my favorite), Flan or Natilla (and I live in Miami, where Cuban bakeries and restaurants are a dime a dozen). Hers were simply in a league of their own. Sadly, I don’t have my grandmother’s recipe, so being my perfectionist OCD self, I decided to google Arroz con Leche recipes and found one that I really liked and made a few adjustments. I know there are many recipes out there that only use cow milk, however, I cannot imagine making this dessert without condensed and evaporated milk. This recipe is super easy to follow and will make for a very sweet and creamy Arroz con Leche.
3/4 cup of short grain rice
2 cups of water
Zest from one lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 14 oz. can of condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Ground cinnamon for garnish
Cook the rice in a saucepan with water, lemon zest, and a 2 cinnamon sticks. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed and rice is tender. Drain any excess water and remove the cinnamon sticks.
Add the evaporated milk, condensed milk, salt, and vanilla extract to the rice and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness. Should start to look like this:
Remove from heat and serve in smaller jars or bowls for individual servings if you wish. Top with ground cinnamon and chill in the refrigerator overnight (some like to serve it warm, I prefer it chilled). A delicious refreshing summertime dessert!
Have you ever made homemade Arroz con Leche? I would love to know if you have a different recipe?