Grandma’s Rice Pudding Recipe: An Easy Arroz Con Leche Recipe From a Puerto Rican Abuela by Elisa Schmitz
Mi madre is from Puerto Rico, and I grew up eating amazing Puerto Rican food made by her, her mother (mi abuela) and her sisters (mis tias). In Puerto Rico, arroz con dulce (sweet rice) is a specialty, and we often enjoyed it especially during the holidays.
We also enjoyed arroz con leche (rice with milk), which is more commonly known around the world as rice pudding. Rice pudding has an old-fashioned goodness that’s enjoyed in different formats around the globe.
But now that mi madre has Alzheimer’s disease and she no longer cooks, it’s my mission to try and re-create the tastes of my childhood. I want to keep our culture alive for my children, and so mi madre can still enjoy the flavor of her homeland. Mi madre loves arroz con leche, so I knew I had to make it for her.
Here’s my version of mi madre's arroz con leche that I grew up eating. It brings back so many good memories of family times in Puerto Rico.
Note: You can make this pudding recipe sweeter (mas dulce) by using less rice, or less sweet, by using more rice. I hope you enjoy this simple rice pudding recipe as much as I do. You can eat it as a warm breakfast cereal, or as a snack or dessert. So easy and so delicious (and it's gluten-free, too)!
Cuisine: Puerto Rican/Hispanic
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
- 4 1/2 cups cooked long-grain white rice (I used a rice cooker to prepare the rice in advance, and included a cinnamon stick in the pot as the rice was cooking)
- 1 4-inch cinnamon stick to use while making rice (discard after rice is cooked) and additional sticks, for garnish
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup of brown or golden (or a blend) raisins
- ground cinnamon, for garnish (or to taste)
Here's how to make it:
- Put cooked rice into a large saucepan. Stir in evaporated milk, condensed milk and coconut milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 18 minutes.
- Add raisins and stir to combine. Stir on low heat for an additional 2 minutes, to allow raisins to plump up.
- Serve in individual bowls. Garnish with cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, to taste, and serve warm.
Notes: Keeps in refrigerator for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. To reheat, add a bit of milk and warm in microwave. For sweeter pudding, use 3 1/2 cups cooked rice. For less sweet pudding, use 5 1/2 cups cooked rice.
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