Rice is so excellent that it gives us options for making various dishes.
Many rice-based dishes are well known for their savory and spicy flavors. Risotto, paella, sushi, and Red Beans and rice, to name a few, are some of the best-known dishes where a good piece of meat and flavored rice make an exquisite feast on the palate.
However, sweet rice-based dishes can be served as both dessert and breakfast food. A great example of this is rice pudding.
On the other hand, you may have heard about particular types of rice whose characteristics make it a perfect ingredient for certain dishes. One of them would be, for example, Arborio rice.
This post will teach you how to make a delicious Arborio rice pudding. In addition, today, you will learn what makes this type of rice so acclaimed and recognized by many chefs worldwide.
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Arborio and rice pudding: things you must know
Arborio is a rice of Italian origin, specifically in the town of Arborio, located in the Po valley.
It is a hard, rounded, and pearly white grain that becomes a round, creamy, and chewy grain after cooking. Also, its creaminess and ease of absorbing a lot of liquid once cooked make this rice one of the favorite ingredients for dishes such as risotto.
These two properties are due to the amylopectin content, a type of starch that is part of the grain’s composition.
On the other hand, rice pudding is a popular dessert worldwide and has different names in each country where it is consumed.
In Latin America and Spain, this dessert is known as Arroz con Leche: it is a portion of rice boiled in cow’s milk, almond milk or rice milk, among others. Usually, some ingredients such as cinnamon, lemon zest, and even dulce de leche are added to accompany this meal.
While rice pudding in Latin America and Europe is a dessert or sweet food, in India and other Asian countries, this meal is made with many spices, giving it spicy and aromatic sensations. An example of this are phirni and kheer, both consumed in India.
Now you know all these, it’s time to cook and make the creamiest and most delicious rice pudding ever!
Arborio rice pudding
- 4 cups of water.
- 2 cups of whole milk.
- 2 cups of heavy cream.
- 8 tbsp. of granulated white sugar.
- 1/2 cup of Arborio rice.
- 5 tbsp. or unsalted butter.
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks.
- 1/2 cup of raisins (optional).
- 1 tsp. of vanilla essence.
- 2 large pieces of lemon rind, cleaned and without the white inner part
- 1 pinch of salt.
- 5 tbsp. of brandy (optional).
- Ground cinnamon to taste for serving.
- Put the water, cream, whole milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the lemon rinds for flavoring and to keep the rice white. Let it boil.
- In a separate pot, put the rice and add the hot liquid mixture little by little. Start adding three full ladles and mix all the time with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat while adding more liquid mixture as it dries.
- Repeat the last step until the liquid is completely incorporated and the rice mixture is thick. Mix constantly.
- At this point add the butter and sugar, and continue mixing with a wooden spoon over medium heat for about 15 minutes more. You can add the sugar gradually and taste if you like it sweeter or less sweet.
- It should be thick but not too thick and not too dry because when the rice cools down it absorbs more liquid.
- Turn off the heat, and remove the cinnamon and the lemon rind. Add a pinch of salt and stir everything very well.
- Allow cooling to room temperature. Put the rice in a large bowl, mold, or small cups with ground cinnamon to taste.