Having grown up in the Philippines, rice-based desserts are very familiar to me and, when done right, can be some of my favourite desserts! With the right balance of sweetness and richness, arroz con leche – Colombian rice pudding – is a fantastic finish to a meal. I enjoy rice pudding warm or cold, and I personally prefer it a bit on the runnier side (though I know many who like it thicker and drier, like risotto or some even drier than that, like thick, sticky Korean rice). This dish is incredibly easy to make, and once you start, you’ll never think about getting storebought pudding again!
• 250 g long grain rice
• 500 mLwater
• 3 cinnamon sticks
• 500 mL milk
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp vanilla extract
• 150 g sugar
• 500 mL milk
• 1 can (12 oz) condensed milk
1. In a small pot, steep the cinnamon sticks in the water, bringing it to a boil and allowing it to simmer for approximately 10 minutes, infusing the water.
2. Transfer the water to a larger pot with the rice and cook over medium heat for five minutes.
3. Thoroughly stir in the milk, butter, vanilla and sugar and continue cooking the rice, stirring occasionally, for another 12–14 minutes, uncovered.
4. Stir in the rest of the milk as well as the condensed milk and reduce the heat to medium-low. Mix the rice, making sure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined, for 50–60 minutes. The mixture will thicken so keep an eye to see when it reaches your desired consistency and thickness.
5. Take the mixture off the heat and allow it to cool.
6. Though it is atypical, I don’t mind serving the rice pudding warm! Alternatively, refrigerate the pudding for several hours or overnight (it will thicken even more!) before serving. This is ideal to make ahead for parties as it can be done the day before.
7. Serve alone, with a dusting of cinnamon, or drizzled with arequipe (Colombian dulce de leche) . Enjoy!