Easy, Delicious and Nutritious Rice Pudding

· April 20, 2019
Rice pudding originated in Asia and later spread to the European and American continents. It's a very simple dish to prepare that's made with basic and inexpensive ingredients.

Rice pudding is the ideal dessert to have when you don’t feel like cooking. Its preparation is fast and yet the dish is not only packed with flavor, but also highly nutritious and filling.

If you’ve never made it, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to work.

Keep reading for step-by-step instructions.

The Origin of Rice Pudding

Although the origin of this dessert dates back to Asia, it’s now eaten in multiple countries. It’s a tasty combination of rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, lemon, and vanilla, among other things, and it’s so versatile it can be enjoyed hot or cold or even frozen. As with everything, it all depends on each person’s taste.

The story says that around the XVII century in the Spanish area of Catalonia, there was a dessert called Manjar Blanco. However, only wealthy people could afford to eat it. For that reason, the cooks added rice instead of chicken or fish, in order to make it more accessible to the rest of the population.

Also, as a curious fact, you should know that, in the beginning, the dessert was made with honey. It must be taken into account that cane sugar arrived in the country during the crusades. Later, with the commerce brought by Persians and Venetian merchants, it became quite popular.

Modern Rice Pudding

A couple servings of rice pudding.

Nowadays, this rice is cooked with milk and cinnamon, and sugar in the last step. However, there are other recipes in which the rice is cooked separately and then everything is mixed. You can also add eggs, cream or flour to thicken it.

So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to try it?

If so, then we’ve got a recipe for you! In addition, we’ll provide you with some tips and variations so you can choose and try the one you like the most.

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Rice Pudding Recipe

A close-up of rice pudding with anise and cinnamon.

Most Latin American countries adopted the tradition of preparing this dessert at certain times of the year such as Holy Week and Easter, for example. However, don’t limit yourself. You can cook it whenever you want!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can customize it any way you want. For example, some people add raisins, pineapple and other fruits such as strawberries and apples. Also, you can add nuts and even chocolate or even chicken (as in the original recipe).

Ingredients

  • 1 c. of white rice
  • 2 c. of full milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • The peel of an orange
  • ½ c. of cane unrefined sugar
  • ½ c. of raisins
  • 1 tbsp of rum
  • ½ c. of condensed milk
  • ½ tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder to decorate
  • Ice cream or cocktail glasses

Preparation

  • The first thing you should do is wash the rice well until the water runs clear. (This will mean that the rice is very clean and free of starch.)
  • Then, place a pot over low heat with the milk, cinnamon stick, salt, and orange zest.
  • Next, wait for it to boil and add the rice. Cook over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes.
  • You’ll know that your rice is ready when it becomes soft and tender, and the liquid evaporates. Stir constantly to speed up the cooking process a little.
  • After the time is up, remove the cinnamon stick and add the sugar and the raisins.
  • Stir a little to keep it from burning or sticking to the pot and cook it for 10 more minutes.
  • At this point, add the butter, the condensed milk, and the rum. Mix it all well so that all the ingredients are well integrated, and then remove it from the heat.
  • Finally, you can serve it either cold or hot (depending on your preference) in ice cream or cocktail cups and then sprinkle some cinnamon powder on top of each serving.

Discover: Learn How to Make Spanish Leche Frita with this Easy Recipe

Variations and Additional Tips

  • Instead of cooking the rice in the milk, do so separately with less water than you would normally use to cook this grain.
  • Then, add the milk 20 minutes later to make it tender and soft.
  • You may skip the orange zest and the raisins if you wish.
  • You may also use honey or piloncillo (also known as panela) instead of sugar.
  • If you’re going to use chocolate, then add it at the end.
  • To make the pudding even thicker, add rice flour (wheat flour or 1 tablespoon cornstarch will work, too), or just let it sit overnight if there’s time.
  • If you add eggs to your rice pudding, then you should beat the yolks only and add them at the same time as the sugar so they won’t be raw.