Arroz con leche is a traditional Spanish dessert made with basic ingredients such as rice, milk, sugar and lemon peel.
One of the best memories I have as a child was my grandmother making this delicious rice pudding for dessert. Therefore, every time I taste the combination of creaminess and cinnamon flavour, I go straight back to my childhood.
Asturian Arroz con Leche Recipe
This delicacy was invented many centuries ago in the Far East. Nonetheless, this dessert has become very popular throughout the entire world. Arroz con leche rice pudding varies from region to region; thus , it has so many recipe variations and styles such as Spanish and Latin American.
In Spain there is a region well known for making the most delicious arroz con leche, Asturias, and it is where this arroz con leche recipe comes from.
This recipe for arroz con leche I am about to share with you was given from an old Asturian woman to my grandmother many years ago. I hope you end up loving this traditional Spanish dessert as much as we all do at home.
One, two, three … describe your favourite dessert in three words … Arroz, con, Leche?
On my dessert list, it is, without a doubt, amongst the top 3 desserts. And I have a feeling it’s on my children’s list too.
This Spanish dessert requires patience and practice; also, critical ingredients to achieve success in the kitchen (and in life). Don’t get discouraged if the first time it doesn’t turn out as expected. Persist and you will see how, over time, you will find it easier and easier to cook this creamy rice pudding.
Furthermore, every step of this recipe is thoroughly explained so that you get it right the first time.
Once you have prepared this easy arroz con leche (without condensed milk), it’s time to invite your friends and family over. I assure you that the moment they have this delicacy in their mouths, they won’t be able to do anything else but…. mmmmmmmm….
How to Make Arroz con Leche Step by Step
1. In a saucepan (without turning on the fire yet), pour a liter and a half of cold full-cream milk and add in 20 grams of butter, a stick of cinnamon, a peel of a lemon and 85 grams of rice.
Tips for this first step:
- When cutting the lemon peel, make sure that the inner part of the peel has the least possible whitish color since this part is sour.
- With the vegetable knife you can cut the peel very well in the shape of a helix. Plus, you won’t get so much white. I like to use it because I get the whole skin off. If you are not so handy with the vegetable knife, you can use a potato peeler.
- 85 grams of rice will be enough. It may not seem much rice, but in reality it is very filling.
2. Once you have all the ingredients in the saucepan, stir with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes over a high flame (level 9 if using glass-ceramic).
Tips for this second step:
- Use a tall pot, the mixture does not reach a third of the total of the pot, but the milk will rise and foam over high heat.
- It is necessary to stir with a wooden spoon so that the rice does not stick and also to lower the milk so that it does not get out of the pot.
Tic tac tic tac … The 10 minutes over high heat are up!
3. Lower the heat (on glass ceramic to level 4) and leave it cooking for 20 minutes.
4 . 5 minutes before the 20 minutes are up, pour in 170 grams of sugar. Now it´s time to stir well!
Tips for this fourth step:
- One last stirring effort! In this step you have to stir well because the sugar sticks.
- You will see that the mixture starts to thicken, but it is still liquid. Don’t worry about this because when it cools the rice will thicken a lot. Don’t wait until it is as thick as you would like it to be since it can be hardened
5. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Remove the lemon, so that it does not become bitter, and the cinnamon stick since it has already added flavour.
6. Now that the arroz con leche is in the bowl, allow it to cool to room temperature and then put it to chill in the refrigerator.
7. Et voilà! Once you take it out of the fridge, you have a delicious spanish arroz con leche ready to conquer the palate of your family and friends.
What happens if my arroz con leche doesn´t come out as creamy as I expected ?
Don’t worry if it comes out a bit liquid, you can place it back in the pot and put it over medium-low heat for a few more minutes. It may only need 5-10 minutes more. Remember that it will also thicken as it cools.
If you are having a dinner party and want to serve arroz con leche as a dessert, I recommend you to make it in the morning. At dinner time, each guest can cover their own serving of arroz con leche with a dusting of cinnamon powder.
If you loved this dessert, I invite you to taste more Spanish traditional desserts.
Creamy Arroz con Leche Recipe
- 1½ liter milk
- 20 grams butter
- 85 grams rice
- 170 grams sugar
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 cinnamon stick ( another option is to add vanilla )
- In a saucepan, add milk, rice, butter, cinnamon stick and lemon peel (without turning on the heat yet).
- Once you have everything in the saucepan, put it on high heat (in glass ceramic at 9). Stir it for 10 minutes.
- Lower the heat (in glass ceramic to 4) and leave it cooking for 20 minutes.
- 5 minutes before the 20 minutes are up, pour in the sugar. Stir well because the sugar sticks.
- Pour into a bowl, removing the lemon and cinnamon.
- The arroz con leche is already in the bowl. Let it temper and then put it in the refrigerator to cool.
- Et voilà! Just take it out of the fridge and you have a delicious, traditional and easy-to-make dessert ready to delight the palate of your family and friends.