As a latina, there are traditional Puerto Rican foods and beverages that I grew up having every Christmas holiday with my family. A few years back, I posted about “Coquito” (our version of an Egg Nog). You can find that cocktail recipe, here. When it comes to desserts, one of the desserts primarly made during the holidays is Arroz Con Dulce, which is translated to Sweet Rice Pudding. Eaten warm or cold, the flavors of coconut, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla truly makes this creamy-spiced dessert a family favorite!
Since my mom made a big batch over the weekend, I was lucky enough to get to my hands on two plates of this delicious dessert! My mom was kind enough to share my great grandmother’s recipe that I get to share with you all! The measurements might be edited a bit but nothing ever compares to the hands that prepare it without measurements…know what I mean? My abuelita was a great cook, a gentle soul and sweet woman who was soft-spoken and had the cutest laugh! Its funny how you can taste something and it draws memories of that certain person or memory in your life that makes you smile and feel warm-hearted.
Do you have a family recipe you use every holiday? Do share in the comment section below!
- 4 cups of small grain rice
- Handful of whole cloves (apprx. 20)
- 2 pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and mashed
- 6-7 cinnamon sticks
- 1 can, Coco Lopez, - coconut milk
- 1 can, Coco Lopez - cream of coconut
- 1 can, sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cans, carnation evaporated milk
- 2 cups, raisins (you want a generous amount)
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups granulated sugar, add to taste
- ground cinnamon for garnishing
- Place 4 cups of uncooked short grain rice in a large bowl, cover with water. Let it soak overnight.
- The next day, drain the water and set aside.
- Fill a large pot with 8 cups of water and combine cinnamon sticks, cloves, and ginger; bring to boil.
- Once the water has turned brown in color, the flavors of the spices have blended and you can now drain into another large pot. Discard all the spices.
- Place the pot of flavored water on the stove and add the uncooked rice; bring to boil and add raisins.
- Once the water disintegrates, stir in coconut milk, cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and sugar to taste; simmer on low heat.
- Frequently stir rice mixture and make sure to stir in a folding motion so that the rice won't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- The mixture will be ready when it is has a creamy like pudding consistency, not soupy or liquidity.
- Divide rice mixture on dinner plates or pie plates.
- Sprinkle cinnamon right away, while mixture is still hot. This will ensure the cinnamon sticks to the rice pudding.
- If eating pudding cold, refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- To serve, cut into wedges or fill a dessert cup with a generous spoonful.
-Pictures by Rose Angel Lopez / Recipe via my Great Grandmother (“Abuelita”)
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