Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Every great meal must be followed by a great dessert. Or so I figured after completing preparations on the cemitas. Luckily Larry has a mini-library of Rick Bayless cookbooks, offering countless dessert options to accompany any Mexican entree. I flipped through his copy of Authentic Mexican and was drawn to a recipe for Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding). When I realized I had all of the ingredients on hand except a lime (which seemed unessential), the matter was settled.

This recipe is perfect for the winter months when you just want to comfort your soul with a bowl of something hot, soft and delicious. The flavors are subtle and wonderful—a combination of cinnamon and custard. I’ll admit my pudding was a little soupy. Next time, I’d keep the pudding over the stove a bit longer. I was perhaps a bit quick on the draw under the advisement to remove the custard from the heat once the “liquid shows the first signs of thickening.” But I also loved the soupiness and slurped it up with delight. By the next day, the rice had fully soaked up all the liquid. As a final testament to its deliciousness,  in a household of two, this dessert that serves 8-10 was gone in under 24 hours. Did I mention it also makes a great breakfast?

Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding) (from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless; serves 8-10)

2 inches cinnamon stick
A 2-inch strip of lime zest (colored rink only), 3/4 inch wide (I left this out)
1 cup rice
1 quart milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
Ground cinnamon, for garnish

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan, add the cinnamon stick and lime zest, then cover and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Pour in the rice, let the mixture return to a boil, stir once, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Stir in the milk, sugar and salt, and simmer over medium to medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid shows the first signs of thickening, 20 to 25 minutes. Take from the heat and remove the cinnamon and stick and zest. Beat the egg yolks until runny, stir in the vanilla and a few tablespoons of the hot rice, then stir the yolk concoction back into the rice mixture. Mix in half the raisins, then spoon the rice pudding into a decorative 8-inch square baking dish.

Preheat the boiler and dot the rice pudding with butter. Set the dish under the heat long enough to brown the top, 3 or 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining raisins and the ground cinnamon, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Category: Kristin's Kitchen One comment »

One Response to “Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)”

  1. Iron Chef Mexican Dinner | madcity girl

    […] left to right, top to bottom: arroz con leche (Mexican rice pudding); Mexican beers (Corona, Negra Modelo, and Pacifico); margaritas; cochinita […]

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