I used to sing this folk song to my kids whenever I’d make this for them.“Arroz con leche me quiero casar con una viudita de la capital”
This comes out very creamy even though I use only 1% milk. I sweeten it with raisins and piloncillo, (pea-lon-SEE- yo), which is brown raw sugar, sold in cones in Mexican groceries. If you can’t find that, substitute about 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. I only use a small cone, but if you like yours sweeter, add more. For me, the cinnamon and vanilla is flavorful enough that less sugar is needed.
My mom used to add walnuts to hers, which I thought was fantastic. I’ve had sublime Indian rice pudding with cardamom, coconut milk and pistachio nuts, so I added this option as well. For a vegan version, use all coconut milk.
1 ½ cups cooked rice. Although white rice is traditional, I like the nutty flavor of brown rice. I cook the rice only with water, a teaspoon of butter, and a sprinkle of salt.
3 cups low fat milk or 2 cups milk and 1 cup coconut milk
1 Tb. vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon powder
¼ tsp. cardamom powder (optional)
1 small cone of piloncillo
¼ cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or unsalted pistachios (optional)
1 stick cinnamon to garnish
Heat milk with vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and piloncillo until it starts to bubble around the edges, but not boil. Stir in raisins and rice. Heat on low for 30 minutes, stirring often so that a skin doesn’t form. The pudding will thicken as it heats. Add the nuts. Let sit until cool. The longer it sits, the more the milk is absorbed by the rice. You may want to add more milk after it has sat awhile. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.