This arroz con leche is flavored with orange rind, cinnamon, and (optional but highly recommended!) dark rum; the scent is deep and sultry. You'll notice I've used dark brown sugar as well as granulated sugar in the recipe: the pudding's color will be golden rather than white, and the flavor more complex. At home I'd use dulce de rapadura or piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar)—do feel free to use either if they're available to you.
This rice pudding is best served warm as soon as it is made.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup medium- or long-grain white rice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 3-inch pieces orange rind from 1 orange
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dark rum (optional)
- Ground cinnamon (optional)
Bring water to boil over medium-high heat in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in rice, 1 tablespoon butter, orange rind pieces, cinnamon sticks, and salt. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring from time to time, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in milk, sugar, dark brown sugar, raisins, and optional rum. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil. Immediately reduce heat o medium-low and simmer, stirring from time to time, until rice is thickened and tender, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Remove from heat. Remove and discard orange rind pieces and cinnamon sticks. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Serve warm and dust with cinnamon if desired.
Medium heavy-bottomed saucepan