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Portuguese Rice Pudding

Portuguese rice pudding is cooked entirely on top of the stove in a risotto like manner. It traditionally is thickened and enriched further with egg yolks but has a voluptuous texture even without them and is lower in fat. Stir the rice frequently but NOT constantly because it can become too gummy. The classic Portuguese seasonings are lemon and cinnamon — but not vanilla. Use ground cinnamon to decorate the top; the easiest way is sifting it through a paper doily.–Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Portuguese Rice Pudding Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup short round rice, such as paella rice or risotto rice (Arborio)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish

Directions

  • 1. Wash and drain the rice. Place it in a large saucepan with plenty of water to cover. Stir, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes, to blanch the rice. Drain the rice in a colander, rinse with warm water, drain again and set aside.
  • 2. While the rice is cooking, place 3 cups of milk in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cinnamon sticks, lemon zest and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let the milk infuse until the rice is ready.
  • 3. Place the rice in another medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, and ladle in 1 cup of the warm milk. Stir well with a wooden spoon, then turn on the lowest possible heat and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed. Ladle in another 1/2 cup of the warm milk, stir and cook until absorbed. Continue in this manner until you have used up all the milk (remove and discard the cinnamon sticks). Along with the last 1/2 cup of the milk, stir in the sugar, butter and ground cinnamon. When the last addition of the milk has been absorbed, turn off the heat and evaluate the consistency against your personal rice pudding preferences, bearing in mind it will be thicker when chilled. Add an additional 1/4 cup to 1 cup of milk (cold is fine) as desired.
  • 4. Turn the pudding out into a medium serving dish or divide between six individual serving dishes and decorate the top with ground cinnamon.
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