Grandma Dolly’s Arroz con Leche Recipe

Sometimes the simplest things bring me joy in the kichen. One of them for sure is my personal recipe box. Memories of good times or loved ones come to mind as I go through 3×5” cards. Each card is adorned with handwritten notes of family treasured recipes or ones I had cut and pasted from some of my favorite cooking magazines.

This year while preparing the menu for upcoming holiday dinner parties, I found my maternal Grandma Dolly’s recipe for Arroz con Leche (rice pudding). Grandma Dolly died when I was only about five-years-old so unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try hers. My mom would make it this way every so often, but eventually she would prepare the milk dessert the way my dad’s mom made it. Ah, us Tafoya’s always trying to please our men!

My mom’s youngest sister, Aunt Penny, who thankfully also serves as our Tafoya family’s historian, sent the recipe to me a few years back. When I asked her about her memories of my grandmother making the rice pudding, she had this to say,”When I was little, Mama often made this dessert for her seven hungry children. She used to make it with raisins, but I never did like it that way. I liked it even less when my brother told me the raisins were flies!”

What makes this arroz con leche recipe different than others I’ve tasted are what you do with the yolk and egg whites. Folding in the beaten yolk into the warm milk and rice mixture transforms the liquid into a thick, custard creaminess . Whisking the egg whites until they are stiff and pouring the milk and rice mixture on top gives another layer of flavor and merengue-like texture to the dish. Thank you, tia, for sharing this recipe with me. I’ll be making Grandma Dolly’s Arroz con Leche for years to come!

Grandma Dolly’s Arroz con Leche Recipe

Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 persons
  • 1 cup, long grain rice
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 cups of warm milk
  • 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Ground cinnamon
  1. Add salt to boiling water, add rice, stir once or twice and cover.
  2. Reduce flame to low and cook rice for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and uncover.
  4. Add enough milk to cover rice plus about a ½ inch, add sugar and cinnamon stick.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often so the milk does not burn.
  6. Separate egg yolks and whites.
  7. Place yolks in small bowl or custard cup.
  8. Place whites in bowl large enough for the entire pudding.
  9. Beat yolks; add a small spoonful of hot rice mixture into yolks, stir well.
  10. Reduce flame under rice mixture to low, remove cinnamon stick, and slowly add yolk mixture into pan of hot rice, stirring rice mixture constantly as you add yolk to prevent scrambling.
  11. Scrape all of yolk mixture out of cup using rubber/silicone spatula.
  12. Stir mixture in pan well, scraping bottom of pan with spatula, until the mixture thickens.
  13. Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  14. Immediately beat egg whites until stiff.
  15. Poor hot rice mixture over stiff egg whites with minimal stirring.
  16. Sprinkle with cinnamon on top.
  17. Let cool slightly before serving.

This is a part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

We just learned the Maestro del Vaso Lleno has come out with a webisode called “El Mejor Flan del Mundo.” In this webisode, Porto’s Bakery and Café shares their delicious flan recipe. From now until January 5th, ten new webisodes will be introduced. So, if you are looking to cheer your family up after a long day, you can watch these webisodes to get ideas for a delicious dessert recipe made with milk. You can also subscribe to El Vaso Medio Lleno Webshow YouTube Channel and watch the webisodes as they are released.

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