Creamy Spanish Rice Pudding

creamy spanish rice pudding
Goooooood heavens, are there a lot of Rice Pudding recipes out there in the world.  Amirite or amirite?!  Wow.  Just wow.  Mexican, Spanish, Diner-Style, old fashioned, traditional, this that the other.  Whooie.  Today I'm giving you the gift of this Creamy Spanish Rice Pudding.

....other recipes with raisins, without.  Citrus peel, without.  Seasonings and spices, and without....gist gotten.

Too, if you wanted, this recipe is a good base for adding any of those aforementioned items, if that's your jam.  Don't let me stop you.

Long have I not just been a huge pudding lover, heh, as we've sort of well covered already, but absolutely a Rice Pudding fan.  And tapioca pudding too which I need to get on.

I get it, things like rice in pudding or tapioca creeps some people out.  For sure.  We all have our tastes and that's perfectly a-ok.

To me, rice and tapioca puddings....I gotta stop mentioning tapioca as now I need it and I have nothing for you here as of this writing....are sort of the elevated versions of pudding.  Probably because I don't have them as often as I'd like therefore they feel a luxury.

Sure, you can buy them at the grocery store but, as we've sort of well covered already, everything tastes better homemade.  And really, this Creamy Spanish Rice Pudding is not complicated nor requires anything too out of the ordinary.

close up of creamy spanish rice pudding in dish
Why do I say too?  Because this one calls for medium grain rice.  But, not hard to find.  I will qualify by saying I have not tried this with long grain rice though a short grain will work.  I did try arborio rice but unless you want to stand at the stove forever and a day, I'd give a nope on that.

Too, I have not tried non-dairy milks in this recipe.  Please let me know if you do and how it works.

And ok, yes, you do need to stand at the stove and stir for quite a while but it's a great time for a podcast or one of those automatic stirring gizmos* that I've not tried, heh.

Anywhooo.  This recipe is an amalgamation of a whole mess of different recipes and I basically started with this one, working with that and adapting, well, a bunch to get to creamier, richer, extra comforting, and delicious.

But really, the toughest part of this recipe is the stirring, I'll give you that.  It's a tad lengthy but in the end, sooo super worth it.

Because you end up with the creamiest Creamy Spanish Rice Pudding, aka Arroz con Leche and it's so so so good.

creamy spanish rice pudding from above
What makes this Spanish?  Pretty well that it's made on the stove top rather than baked.  And uses dairy.  And using a shorter grain rice.  And no eggs. 

This recipe is also sans sweetened condensed milk too so you skip any kind of variations of sweetness you might find in a can.  You control the sweetness, of which, bonus, there's not a load of.

Ok, let's hop to it.

First, grab your medium grain rice and give it a soak in water to get the grains a head start.

soaking medium grain rice

soaked medium grain rice
Then, pretty much everything gets tossed into a pot* and heated.  Heh. 

ingredient prep
While stirring as the stirring not only saves you from things scorching and sticking on the bottom of said pot, it aids in developing that creaminess we're after.  A nonstick spatula* works best here.

So you'll heat the cream, milk, rice, cinnamon sticks* (I use two because I'm a huge cinnamon lover but you can go with one) until you get to a low simmer.

Oh, a note about the cinnamon sticks, and well, rice too.  Check the Mexican food section at your grocery store for both of those.

Once you've hit the low simmer, and make sure it's simmer-y, drop the heat and add the sugar.  Commence the stirring.  Don't forget, all this stirring will be incredibly worth it.

simmering dairy
Warmed through and adding the sugar here.
Yeah it's about twenty to forty minutes of stirring.  I know.  And it'll seem like the thickening is never gonna happen but it will.  Especially given the liquid to rice ratio, but yes, it will thicken, trust me!

finished creamy spanish rice pudding
All done!  Don't forget to pull the cinnamon sticks out.
The closer to forty you go, the stiffer the end result so my advice is about thirty-ish minutes because once chilled, the pudding will firm up further.  If you've discovered after chilling, it's too firm for your liking, no worries, drizzle in some extra milk to loosen things up.

creamy spanish rice pudding in a dish
If you want to add a pinch of nutmeg, please feel free; add it with the sugar.  Or citrus peel, you can toss that in then too.  If you wanted to do raisins, you might wait until the end when it's near about ready.

creamy spanish rice pudding served
Whatever you choose to do, and I hope it's to make this recipe just anyway, I sure hope you're as enamored with this Creamy Spanish Rice Pudding as I am.  I hear it calling my name in the fridge, I better go attend to that.

*The automatic stirring gizmos, sauce pans, nonstick spatulas, and cinnamon sticks are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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