A creamy Spanish rice pudding recipe from my mother-in-law Antonia. Her arroz con leche recipe is the perfect blend of cinnamon, sugar, and silky Spanish rice. You’ll try it once and be a fan for life!
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 fewer carbs before my 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.
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 preferences… but then I realize that feeding people is just how she shows her love.
And I do love her rice pudding…
The Secrets to Antonia’s Arroz con Leche
After watching her make this many times, I think there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Always use whole milk
- Use a cinnamon stick (not cinnamon powder) — except for a dash on the top when finished
- Don’t skip the pinch of salt (sea salt is best)
- Add the sugar slowly and taste — if it’s too sweet you can’t go back!
- Make it slowly – don’t be in a rush. Add the milk little by little and stir, stir, stir! This will make it super creamy.
Watch how to make Spanish arroz con leche (1 minute video!)
Traditional Spanish Arroz con Leche Recipe
Spanish Arroz con Leche Recipe
- 1 cup of short grain rice Arroz Bomba is what I use in Spain
- 1-2 wide slices of lemon rind
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 ¼ cups of whole milk you can substitute non-dairy milks if desired
- Sugar to taste
- Rinse the rice under cold water and then put it in a saucepan over a medium heat, just barely covered with water (you could also cover it with milk for even creamier arroz con leche).
- Add the cinnamon stick and lemon rind. Stir continually until all of the water is absorbed.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon on top to decorate!
Voila! Spanish 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!
Look here for more tempting Spanish dessert recipes!
Photo Credit: katiebordner