Antonia’s Arroz con Leche (Recipe)

Spanish Rice Pudding

A creamy rice pudding recipe from my mother-in-law Antonia. Her arroz con leche is the perfect blend of cinnamon, sugar, and silky Spanish rice. You’ll try it once and be a fan for life!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a lucky girl. My in-laws are fantastic. Don’t get me wrong– we don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but they are the most caring and loving people I’ve ever met. My mother-in-law, Antonia, also happens to be a wonderful Spanish cook and has taught me the majority of what I know about Spanish home cooking. Her salmorejo recipe is one of my all time favorites and every time we’re together we try to cook something new.

The only downside to her cooking abilities has been the few times I’ve dared to “diet” in her presence. It wasn’t even really a diet, just eating less carbs before the wedding! Every now and then I like to cut most carbs and sugar out of my diet (the month of December is not one of those times) as a way to cleanse my body and lose a few pounds. Anyway, I’ve learned not to tell her this. At the mere mention of this locura she seems to make every possible thing I “can’t” eat and then shake her head when I say “no, gracias.

The last time I was eating healthy she bought me two enormous bars of chocolate and made her famous arroz con leche. I nearly got angry with her because it feels like she’s not respecting or supporting my decision… but then I realize that feeding people is just how she shows her love. And I do love her rice pudding…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of short grain rice (Bomba is a popular brand in Spain)
  • 1-2 wide slices of lemon rind
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • Sugar to taste

Preparation:

  1. Rinse the rice and then put it in a saucepan over a medium heat just barely covered with water.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick and lemon rind. Stir continually until all of the water is absorbed.
  3. Add milk about ½ cup at a time, stirring each time until all is absorbed. Continue adding up to the whole liter of milk, stirring continuously.
  4. When is seems creamy enough, taste to make sure the texture of the rice is correct. Some prefer it al dente and others like it very cooked (almost mushy).
  5. When it is to your liking, turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt and dash of cinnamon. Then, add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time until it is sweet enough for you. Enjoy warm or let cool.
  6. Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon on top to decorate!

Voila! Arroz con leche a la Antonia! I promise that if you prepare this you will taste the love. Try it– and tell me how it turns out!

Do you have anyone in your life that just doesn’t let you diet? How do you deal with it!?

Comments

  1. says

    Well, the person in my life that doesn´t let me diet … is me. And I adore arroz con leche, something the asturianos make very well. However, I don´t have it often since I´m allergic to cinnamon. I´ve had it a couple of times in a great Asturian restaurant in Madrid – Casa Parrondo – (also my husband´s name but no relation) where they bring in their own special fresh milk to get it just right. Your recipe is spot on, and for the record, I like it a little mushy!

    • says

      I often don’t let myself diet either… (I think I ate at least 10 cookies yesterday alone) but the wedding was an exception! Being allergic to cinnamon is sad! But I’ll bet if you made it at home you could sub spices like cloves or cardamon for a yummy change. I like it mushy too– but not too overcooked.

  2. says

    I’ve had this same struggle with my MIL too. It wasn’t because I was trying to diet, it was because I simply could not fit any more food in my stomach (you know, one of those typical 5 course Spanish meals!) but she serves them every time we eat together. She wouldn’t just shake her head, but also loudly complain that I don’t eat anything (which is SO not true) and in front of everyone at the table. Frustrating eating with her, but I have just learned to eat what I can and politely decline whatever is going to stuff me full.

    • says

      I know what you mean– they expect us to keep eating and eating! Luckily I was used to this from my Italian grandmother and aunt, but it is still annoying! But when my Ale’s brother’s girlfriend is there too she eats even less– so I’m the good one those nights! I’ve also learned to eat what I want and stick firm to my NO GRACIAS!!!

  3. says

    I might very well be the only foreigner married to a Spaniard who’s mother-in-law is a terrible cook. She hates cooking, and it shows. And just to make you all jealous, I can diet anytime I want around her. Especially since the very first thing she said to me was, “Oh, you’re much fatter than your pictures.” Jajaja! But I just love her and she loves me, too.

    Anyway, I’m going to try this recipe out and see if I can impress my Asturiano husband.

  4. says

    oh my gosh! you know, one thing I like about your blog is that when you’re done reading one post, you are given choices of other posts that may interest you. and, wow! a recipe for one of my favorite Spanish desserts, whee!! I will have to bookmark and try this some time. I used to love when our señoras would make it. yum, yum, yum!!

  5. Evelyn says

    Thank you so much for your kind recipe, I first came on this site,not knowing how to make arroz con leche,to becoming a pro. My 6 year old loves your recipe! He says it comes from Mom’s heart and he loves it!!

    Thanks again

  6. Mayra Pena says

    wow! thanks for sharing this recipe!,. since i had no one too teach me on how to cook, i only knew a basic one that it taste like it needed something else , but now tasting your version i,, wow! I just made it and turn out great,Thank you!, and just for the info I cant do a diet since i choose to study for a career of baking and pastry, i have to try everything to be able to put desserts together :( , but cant complaint :) because I love sweets:).

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