Arroz doce is Portugal’s signature rice pudding. It’s different from other rice puddings in that we add lemon and cinnamon to it, which is what makes it extra delicious. If you’re Portuguese, you grow up eating a lot of arroz doce. (I know, lucky us!) A classic dessert at Christmas, birthdays, weekends, weekdays… it’s one of those go-to sweets that are both easy to make and delicious! In this post, I’m sharing with you a very special recipe for arroz doce that is actually my mom’s. And as we all know moms make the best food, you’re in for a treat! Don’t forget to watch the video for my mom’s insider tips to making the perfect arroz doce.
Before I start, I want to highlight just how versatile this dish is. Whilst there is never a wrong occasion for arroz doce, there are situations where it’s exactly what you need. Here are a few:
- A rainy weekend at home
- Taking a dessert to a dinner party
- A kid’s party (it’s sweet, easy to make and eat, and contains natural ingredients)
- When dieting (it doesn’t have crazy calories but still gives you a sugar fix)
- When you’re sick. Believe it or not, it’s so comforting when you’re sick and the sweetness really peps you up!
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup medium grain white rice
2 cups whole milk (or at the very least semi-skimmed or 2% milk), plus extra which may be needed
1 cup sugar (I actually use less than this. Check out the video for more details)
1 or 2 egg yolks
1. Put 2 cups of water into a pot. Add a pinch of sea salt, the lemon rind and the butter. Let it boil for a minute or two.
5. While the milk and rice are cooking (making sure to stir once in a while so it doesn’t stick to the bottom) measure out your sugar. In a separate small bowl, separate an egg or two. Keep the white(s) for an omelette, a glaze, a face mask or whatever you normally do with egg whites! Add a dash of milk to the yolk and stir.
6. Once the rice is super creamy and mushy (yes, that’s the correct culinary terminology), stir in the sugar. If your rice isn’t getting creamy, add a little more milk to it and let it cook longer.7. Take a spoonful of the rice mixture and add it to the egg yolk. Stir well. The idea is to not cook the yolk but to heat it gently. Then, turn off the heat for the rice. Add the yolk/rice mixture to the big pot and stir so it’s all the same color.
8. Once you have a light yellow color, ten the heat back on, let it reach boiling temperature and you’re done with the cooking!9. Take out the lemon peel, and pour into either individual bowls or one big bowl/shallow tray.
10. Decorate with ground cinnamon (see images below for inspiration). I like it this served warm, straight from the heat but it also keeps nicely in the fridge for a few days. You can always quickly re-heat it in the microwave at any time.
Some more inspiration for decorations from Pinterest: