Every Latin American country has its own version of rice pudding, but for me, none compare to the way my Cuban mother and all my Cuban aunts make it.The time has come for me to follow in the tradition.
Any recipe that includes condensed milk makes me giggle with delight.The amount of sugar in the recipe was a bit scary considering the presence of the sweet milk, but remembering the bodacious flavor of my childhood, gave me the courage to make it snow heavily over the thick mix of rice and condensed, evaporated and whole milk. No regrets.
Now for the texture. One of the features that turns me off in other versions is the consistency, the way the spoon cuts into the pudding. I simply can't get on board with runny Arroz con Leche. For me, it has to have a soft thickness, a hint denser than condensed milk itself. In my attempt to avoid undercooking it, I ended up overcooking it. The flavor was comforting and familiar, but it had the firmness of bread pudding.
Midway through the cooking process, I gave John a flavor quality control teaspoon that seemed a little thin to me. I should have allowed for the effects of refrigeration and quit right there. Lesson learned. Nonetheless, I am satisfied to have finally taken the plunge and followed in the footsteps of the illustrious cooks in my family.
2 cups arboreal rice
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp butter
3 cups of water
Pinch of salt
Ground cinnamon to taste
Add rice and salt to boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is soft.
Add three milks and sugar, and simmer for 45 minutes or until mixture is creamy.
Add ground cinnamon.