Creamy Rice Pudding, or Arroz con Leche

Close-up of bowl of porridge
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    5 hrs
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This Latin American-style rice pudding with raisins and cinnamon is a huge favorite throughout South America. Often flavored with rum, studded with plump raisins, and sprinkled with cinnamon, rice pudding takes a little patience and lots of stirring to prepare, but it's worth the effort.

Some people prefer to enjoy their rice pudding warm, but it is often served cold in Latin America.  Variations on the basic version include adding coconut or coconut milk, anise, orange peel, sweetened condensed milk, coffee, or even made with corn in place of the rice.  In Peru, arroz con leche is often served with mazamorra morada, a spiced pudding made from purple corn.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup rum or pisco
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cinnamon

How to Make It

  1. Soak raisins for several hours (or overnight) in the rum.
     
  2. Add the rice, water, milk, cinnamon, cloves and salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, stirring often, until the rice is completely cooked and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
     
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and the cloves. Add the evaporated milk and the sugar, and continue to cook over at a low boil, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (about 20-30 minutes). Drain the raisins (reserve rum if desired) and stir them into the rice mixture. Cook for a several minutes more.
     
  1. Remove from heat and stir in some of the reserved rum if desired. Let rice cool for five minutes, the stir in the vanilla.
     
  2. Serve cold or at room temperature, sprinkled with cinnamon.