Growing up, my aunt ChaCha cooked 6 nights a week for 6-8 people. She used traditional Cuban recipes, made EVERYTHING from scratch and bought everything fresh. This is my all time favorite dish.
- Boil rice, lemon zest, vanilla & cinnamon stick in water until rice is soft.
- Add milk, salt, and sugar.
- Cook over medium flame stirring occasionally until it thickens (about 1 hour).
- Turn over into a Pyrex-type dish & powder with cinnamon.
- I leave zest & cinnamon stick in the dish and serve around it as it continues to put out flavor.
- Serve warm or chilled.
I've done this recipe twice now and it is absolutely delicious! Yes, it may have been a little tedious to stir frequently for an hour but it was oh so worth it. In my house I get people asking for it all the time now. I read that some people don't like the strong cinnamon flavor. In that case, feel free to leave out the cinnamon stick. It will taste great without it too!
Strongly cinnamon-flavored and with a smooth, soft texture, it makes a generous batch. Its somewhat sweeter than I care for and took longer than expected to thicken. It reminded me of some of the very sweet desserts that my Puerto Rican stepmother makes. It would probably be a good dish to tempt a kid with a sore throat.
This is the first time I've tried rice pudding, and I am definitely sold! I wasn't sure how thick it had to be before I stopped cooking, so I did 1 hour exactly. It does thicken a bit more once it cools, but 1 hour was really just right. This pudding is SO creamy and delicious! Thanks Chessie!