Caramelized Rice Pudding

February 14, 2011 9:09:38 AM PST
Arroz con Leche Caramelizado

With healthy cows that graze in the lush meadows of northern Spain, it's no wonder this region is home to a booming dairy industry ? and delicious, creamy desserts. Traditional Spanish rice pudding relies on vanilla and citrus for flavor, and medium-grain rice for the custard-like texture. In the northern regions of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria, rice pudding is often served with a crisp crust of caramelized sugar.

1 orange
1 cup Goya Medium Grain Rice
71/2 cups whole milk
1 Goya Cinnamon Stick
1/8 tsp. Goya Salt
1 tsp. Goya Vanilla Extract
1 cup Goya Sweetened Condensed Milk
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar

Peel orange; reserve flesh for another use. Using tip of small knife, scrape white pith from orange rind; discard pith; set aside rind.

Place rice in fine-holed or mesh colander. Rinse rice under cold water. In medium puchero, or medium, heavy-bottomed pot, add rice, milk, cinnamon stick, salt, vanilla and orange rind. Bring rice mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon and scraping bottom of pot. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer, stirring occasionally, and continuing to scrape bottom of pot, until rice is tender and the texture resembles a thick custard, about 40 minutes. Stir in sweetened condensed milk; cook, stirring, until flavor is distributed and absorbed, about 5 minutes more.

Evenly divide rice pudding among ramekins; serve warm or chilled. For caramelized sugar crust, evenly divide pudding among oven-safe serving bowls. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. sugar atop each bowl. Heat broiler. Place bowls 3 inches from heat source. Broil until sugar turns dark golden brown, about 1 minute. Or, use hot caramel iron or culinary torch to caramelize sugar; allow melted sugar to harden; Serve warm.

serves 6