This is a recipe for rice pudding or arroz con leche in Spanish as you've never had it before. It also show how some exceptional desserts can be made with things found in the cupboard.
Well, at least I've never had it before to be correct. In my childhood years we were given rice pudding in the nurseries and believe me it was the most hated dessert ever. The reason might have been the few ingredients used - milk, rice, sugar and low quality cinnamon or the low quality of nurseries cooking but one thing is certain - if you ask the now grown up kids about their favourite childhood desserts only few of them would name the rice pudding.
So as I was shopping the other day I met my Spanish neighbour who was after some condensed milk. I'm making arroz con leche tonight he said. Adding that the Spanish way includes condensed milk, lots of cinnamon and very slow cooking. As somebody who likes experimenting and cinnamon that looked like such a god idea to me. Right I thought, I now *NEED* to try that!
For a more personal touch I thought I would add some embellishments from the
I turned to dried fruits and nuts to add some crunchy sweetness and texture and flavour.
There were some dried dates, dried apricots and goji berries and sultanas in the cupboard - meant to go into the morning porridge, and some pumpkin seeds.
Crushed walnut kernels with some cinnamon are a personal favourite and I had a tin of condensed milk which had been waiting to be used.
Here's the recipe:
Arroz con Leche (Rice pudding) de Luxe
(makes 16-18 ramekins)
1 cup rice
1 cup water
4.5 cups whole milk
1 tin condensed milk
2 tbsp sugar
10-15 soft dates
7-8 dried apricots
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp goji berries
4 tbsp sultanas
50 g walnuts - crushed with cinnamon
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Rinse the rice in pure water several times, then place in a deep saucepan and cover with cold water.
Some recipes suggest soaking the rice in water first but to save some time what I did was to cover with water and just leave at a very slow heat for some 5 minutes without waiting for the whole water to be absorbed, then adding the milk.
Place over very low heat for some 5-7 minutes then add the milk. Stir occasionally so the rice doesn't stick t the bottom of the saucepan.
when the milk is warm and the rice has started to absorb it (after around 10 minutes) add the condensed milk and the sugar. Leave on low heat stirring occasionally but not very often. n the meantime chop the dates and apricots and add all the dried fruits to the pan. Some 10 minutes before removing from heat add the pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and vanilla.
Continue to cook on slow heat and the total time should be around 1 hour.
Transfer into ramekins and top with the crushed walnuts with cinnamon, and some goji berries and pumpkin seeds for colour.
Leave to cool and enjoy!