There is nothing that screams more “comfort dessert” for Uruguayans than Arroz con Leche. It is so simple to make and so inexpensive but it is full of flavor. The texture is creamy, the rice cooked to perfection and there is a little taste of lemon zest, cinnamon and cloves. It is not quite as condensed as rice pudding but it is lighter and still rich. There are several methods of preparing it, but this is the one I use. My family likes chocolate chips on top but the best is some whipped cream!
- 1 cup of long grain white rice
- 1 12 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, we use fat free
- cinnamon sticks, about 2 or 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 3 cups of 2 % milk
- lemon zest of a whole lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 4 cups of water
- 1 TBSP of brown sugar
- 1/2 cups raisins, optional (my family prefers no raisins, but chocolate chips)
- ground cinnamon for garnish
In a saucepan combine the rice, water, cinnamon (I use ground), lemon zest and cloves. Let sit for 45 minutes. Then turn the heat on and let the rice cook, for about 5 minutes then when it boils turn the heat down and cook for 10 minutes. Beat the egg in a bowl, add milk, stir. After the rice cooks take it out of heat and let cool a little bit. This next step is very important otherwise you will end up with scrambled eggs in your rice: YOU HAVE TO TEMPER THE EGGS. Add a little bit of the warm rice mixture to the egg mixture and stir. Keep adding it until the eggs are warm. After this you can pour this mixture with the rest of the rice in the saucepan and stir. Add sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and sugar and mix well. Cook on medium low heat until it thickens, for about 25 minutes. As the rice cools it will thicken more. You can eat it warm
or cool. Tastes even better the next day!
The three stages: Soak, add milk and eggs, and cook