The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating: Arroz con Leche, or Rice Pudding

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating:  Arroz con Leche, or Rice Pudding

I was out of town this past weekend cheering on my beloved Fighting Irish in the National Championship. Unfortunately we came up short, but it was so worth it to be there and experience the magic in Miami.  As such, I didn’t make dessert last week, so this one is doubling for both Central and Southern Spain, which is totally fine since this tasty treat is popular country-wide.

I love love love (did I say love?) rice pudding. My mom never made it at home, but rather we ate the good ole’ Kozy Shack variety from the refrigerator section. I’ve tried more than once to make it on my own, and have failed every time. I tried using cooked rice. I’ve tried using uncooked rice. I’ve tried baking it, slow-cooking it… you name it. Fail. Fail. FAIL.  However, because rice pudding, or arroz con leche, is such a popular dessert in Spain, I figured I should give it another go.

This time, after combining a few recipes and their techniques…SUCCESS! My rice pudding was creamy, not too sweet, as thick as I wanted it to be and pretty much all I wanted it to be.  Take that, Kozy Shack! (Not really- Kozy Shack is very good.  If you’re too lazy for this, which you shouldn’t b because it’s very easy-you should try it).

Makes about 4- 1/2 cup servings


1/2 cup Arborio rice

1/2 TB grated lemon zest

2 cups water

1 egg

1 1/2 cups almond milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 TB vanilla extract

cinnamon to taste


1.  Soak the rice and lemon zest in the water for an hour.

2.  Once soaked, bring the rice mixture to a boil uncovered on high heat.   When it starts to boil, lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.

3.  While rice is cooking, beat the egg in a bowl. Add the milk, condensed milk and stir well to mix. Add the egg mixture and vanilla to the rice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, until it thickens slightly or until desired consistency, about 25 to 35 minutes.

4.  Let cool uncovered.  It thickens as it cools  Add cinnamon before serving. I personally like mine warm, but it works both ways.


rice pudding

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