Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche)

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Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Oh. Em. Gee.  Arroz con Leche (rice pudding) is one of those foods, that when done right, is a mind-blowing experience.  I’ve always been a fan, since arroz con leche (translation: rice with milk) is a very common Latin American dessert.  Spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, this luxurious arborio rice pudding is the perfect balance of sweet and creamy, with a pudding-like texture.  In my attempt to kick this dish up a notch from the traditional version, I’ve amped up the ingredients to produce a foodporn worthy dessert.  Traditional arroz con leche uses regular rice, condensed and evaporated milks, and vanilla extract.  This recipe uses Arborio rice, the same rice used for risotto.  This results in an ultra-creamy texture, thanks to the super-starchy kernels.  Instead of condensed milk and evaporated milk, we’re using whole milk and heavy cream.  And for an extra fresh spike of vanilla, we’re using a whole split vanilla pod.  These changes transform good, old fashioned rice pudding into a decadent dessert with the flavor kicked up.

ingredients

1 cup Arborio rice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla pod, split and caviar scraped out
2 cinnamon sticks
2/3 cups heavy cream

directions

In a sauce pot on medium heat, heat 5 cups of milk with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 split vanilla pod, and 2 cinnamon sticks until it’s just starting to bubble around the edges, but not boiling.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding | Delish D'Lites

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium heat, then add in the Arborio rice.  Toast the rice in the butter for 1 minute, to open up the kernels.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Pour the hot milk mixture onto the rice.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender and the texture of the mixture has become rich and creamy.  A good way to tell that the rice pudding is done is by dipping a back of a wooden spoon into the mixture, and using your finger to draw a line down the length of the spoon.  If it’s thick and the line stays separated, that means there’s a ton of starch in the mixture, and it should be super creamy.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding | Delish D'Lites

Remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks from the mixture.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Pour the hot rice pudding into a glass bowl, then cover with plastic wrap.  Make sure to press the plastic wrap onto the rice pudding, to keep it from forming a skin.  Refrigerate the rice pudding for at least 4 hours, so it has a chance to cool completely.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Once the rice pudding has cooled completely, stir in 2/3 cup of heavy cream.  Then it’s ready to serve!  Believe me, you will NOT regret making this.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) | Delish D'Lites

5 from 6 votes
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Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla pod split and caviar scraped out
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pot on medium heat, heat 5 cups of milk with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 split vanilla pod, and 2 cinnamon sticks until it's just starting to bubble around the edges, but not boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium heat, then add in the arborio rice. Toast the rice in the butter for 1 minute, to open up the kernels.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low, then cook for 35-40 minutes, until the rice is tender and the texture of the mixture has become rich and creamy. A good way to tell that the rice pudding is done is dipping a back of a wooden spoon into the mixture, and using your finger to draw a line down the length of the spoon. If it's thick and the line stays separated, that means there's a ton of starch in the mixture, and it should be super creamy.
  4. When the rice pudding is done, remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks, then pour it into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure to press the plastic wrap onto the rice pudding, to keep it from forming a skin.
  5. Refrigerate the rice pudding for at least 4 hours.
  6. Once the pudding is cooled, stir in the heavy cream, and serve.

Cinnamon-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche)

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9 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    this is truly the rice pudding of my dreams! reasons include (1) using arborio rice, (2) toasting the rice in butter first, (3) cooking the rice in the milk, (4) using whole vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks, (5) adding heavy cream to the cooled pudding. oh.em.gee is RIGHT! no lemon, no raisins, no powdered cinnamon, no extracts, and no water. thank goodness! this review reads like one long exclamation point 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to make this! My great grandmother used to make this for me & I loved it! Thank you so much! I have shared. Coming by from Latina Bloggers Connect. Lots of love, Lisa

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Hola

I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.