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Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk

by Lorena

Rice pudding with condensed milk is how it’s made at my home back in Peru. It’s definitely a classic dessert that takes us back to when we were kids. It is a creamy and delicious dessert that is easy to make, and the addition of condensed milk takes it to a whole new level. With its notes of cinnamon and clove, it’s one of those dishes that hug us when we eat it.

Rice pudding around the world

Rice pudding has been a popular dessert since ancient times. It is believed to have originated in Asia, where rice was a staple food. Over time, the recipe spread to other parts of the world, and it became a beloved dessert in many cultures. In fact, there are many variations of rice pudding, and each one has its own unique flavour and texture. Even within the same country, sometimes you can find varying ways to make it. The similarities between all the recipes are that they all use rice, milk or cream of some sort, a kind of sweetener and flavourings from spices and fruits.

Rice pudding with condensed milk

Condensed milk is a sweetened milk product that has been heated to remove most of the water content, resulting in a thick, creamy consistency. It is commonly used in desserts to add sweetness and richness. When added to rice pudding, condensed milk gives it a velvety smoothness and a delightful sweetness that is irresistible. This is usually the way we sweeten rice pudding in Peru and I know that there are many other countries, especially in Latin America, where they do the same.


How to make Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk

As you can guess from what I’ve written before, there are many variations of this recipe. Here is the way I do it and how it was done at my house. First, I cook the rice with water, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. This is just like making regular everyday rice except with less salt and more water to make the rice go softer. Then, I add the condensed and evaporated milk and stir over medium heat. I know when to stop because the mix will coat the back of a spoon or spatula. At this point, you will think that the mix is too thin. However, when it cools down and we refrigerate it, it thickens. The result is a lovely, perfectly thick and delicious Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk.

Ingredients for Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk

  • Rice: of course, you need to start with rice. I know that some people recommend short-grain rice for rice pudding. However, in Peru, we just used the rice we had in store in the pantry which was always long-grain rice. Because we thicken the mix by cooking it, there’s not really much need for the extra starch in short-grain rice.
  • Flavourings: I love to use cinnamon and cloves for my Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk recipe. Another classic flavouring would be a slice of orange or lemon peel. I’m not particularly a fan of that but I know some people love it. Other options include spices such as cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, star anise, ginger, etc.
  • Condensed Milk: the condensed milk give this rice pudding a special kind of sweetness that differs from plain sugar. It’s creamy and almost caramelly, just divine.
  • Evaporated Milk: this is a staple in Peruvian cuisine (and many other Latin American cuisines) and is often used with condensed milk. An example would be in Crema Volteada, the Peruvian version of flan.
Closeup of a bowl of rice pudding with  condensed milk, topped with ground cinnamon.

Tips for Making the Perfect Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk

To make the perfect rice pudding with condensed milk, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Add your flavourings from the start. It’s important to cook the rice with the flavourings so it becomes fragrant. If you add it with the milk, it will work but it won’t penetrate the rice.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pot to cook the rice. This will help to prevent the milk from heating up too fast and sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  • Stir constantly while you’re cooking down the condensed and evaporated milk. Milk tends to stick easily to the bottom of the pan and burn if you don’t do this. This is like when we do Manjar Blanco or Suspiro de Limeña.

Creative Variations to Try

While rice pudding with condensed milk is a classic dessert, there are many creative variations that you can try. One popular variation is to add coconut milk or cream to the recipe, which gives the pudding a tropical twist. Another option is to add cocoa powder to create a chocolate rice pudding. Toppings are also a great option to vary the taste. You can make a rice pudding bar with different fruits, sauces and spices so that everyone can make their own version.

two served bowls of rice pudding with  condensed milk, topped with ground cinnamon.

A Dessert That Brings Back Memories

For many people, rice pudding with condensed milk is more than just a dessert. It is a dish that brings back memories of childhood and family gatherings. It is a comfort food that is often associated with warmth, love, and nostalgia. When you make rice pudding, you are not just creating a delicious dessert – you are also creating a connection to your past and your loved ones. In my case, my mom would make rice pudding for me whenever I asked. Mind, you, I didn’t ask THAT often. But every couple of months I would get this craving for it and she would gladly make it for me.

Rice pudding with condensed milk is the perfect dessert for any occasion. It is a classic comfort food that is loved by people of all ages. It can be served hot or cold, and it is versatile enough to be paired with a variety of toppings, such as fresh fruit, nuts, or cinnamon. I also like lately to brulée the rice pudding. For this, after serving a portion, you sprinkle granulated sugar on the surface. Then, you blowtorch it to generate that delicious, thin coat of caramel.


Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk Recipe

Rice pudding with condensed milk is a comforting, creamy and delicious dessert. Loved by many, there's no going wrong with it.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: peruvian
Keyword: condensed milk, easy, peruvian, rice pudding
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal

Ingredients

For cooking the rice

  • 220 g long-grain rice
  • 440 ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla essence
  • 2 cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the rice pudding

  • 400 g condensed milk (usually one can)
  • 400 g evaporated milk (usually one can)

For serving

  • Ground cinnamon

Instructions

For cooking the rice

  • Place everything in a large pot with a heavy bottom over medium-high heat.
  • When it breaks to a boil, decrease the heat to a minimum and place a lid on the pot.
  • Cook for 20 minutes and remove the lid. It doesn't matter if there's a bit of water left in the pot, it can stay there.

For the rice pudding

  • Add the condensed and evaporated milk and stir.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until the liquid can coat the back of a spoon or spatula with a thin layer.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool down completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Remove the cinnamon and cloves. If it's too thick after cooling, adjust it by adding water or milk (not evaporated nor condensed).
  • Serve cold, at room temperature or warm with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
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