Toasted coconut makes this version of rice pudding stand out among many
One version or another of rice pudding can be found in nearly every part of the world.
Although there are many versions, at its best, rice pudding is simple, lightly sweet and tastes of its primary component — rice.
India has kheer while New Foundland has Newfie rice pudding. In Latin America and the Caribbean, it’s known arroz con leche, arroz doce or arroz di leite.
This Caribbean version uses coconut milk instead of regular milk and features a toasted coconut topping.
Arroz con leche
2 cups water
1 cup rice (medium grain works best, but long grain will be fine)
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 1⁄2 cups coconut milk
2 1⁄2 cups half and half
2⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup raisins
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup shredded, sweetened toasted coconut
Cook rice as directed on package until water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk, half and half and sugar. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, and stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken, about 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent sticking and scorching, until a spoon is just able to stand up in the pudding, about 15 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat and stir in the raisins, vanilla and cinnamon. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. Top with toasted coconut.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.