Disclaimer: I don’t like rice pudding. I am married to a rice-pudding lover, though, so when I found myself with a half gallon of milk on the eve of expiration, I whipped this up to earn marriage-brownie-points. You do know about those, right? In our house these brownie points can be redeemed for foot massages. What do you redeem them for?
Please note: my husband suggested that when I make this again, I should halve the amount of rice and water and keep everything else the same so that it’s more “pudding” and less “rice.” He who has ears, let him hear.
rice pudding (arroz con leche)
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 strips of lemon or orange zest (can use a peeler to get a larger piece)
3 whole cloves or a tiny pinch of ground cloves
4 cups water
3 cups milk
1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used less to no ill effect)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Soak the rice, cinnamon sticks, lemon or orange zest and whole or powdered cloves in the water in a heavy saucepan for 1 hour.
After soaking, bring the rice mixture to a boil on high heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil (about 5 minutes), lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.
While rice is cooking, beat the egg in a bowl. Add the milk and stir well to mix. Add the egg mixture, condensed milk, salt, vanilla extract and raisins, if using, to the rice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, until it thickens slightly or until desired consistency about 15-25 minutes.
(About “desired consistency”: If you like your arroz con leche thinner, pull it off the stove when more liquid is left. This pudding does most of its thickening as it cools.)
Remove citrus zest and cinnamon sticks. Let cool uncovered, then chill the rest of the way in the fridge. Grate fresh cinnamon over the top just before serving.