Sunday, December 26, 2004

Recipe: Arroz Doce

This traditional Portuguese rice pudding, delicately flavored with lemon and cinnamon and sprinkled with cinnamon on top, is a treat from my mom's side of the family. It used to be made by slaving over a hot stove, but my grandmother adapted it for the slow cooker, so now we can make it more often. I'm making a double batch right now for our day-after-Christmas Portuguese feast. If you would like to make a double batch, see the directions below the recipe. After you try it for the first time, you will want a double batch.

Arroz Doce can be served hot or cold, and must be stored in the fridge because of the eggs. For the safety-conscious, I should note that the eggs (which are added raw at the end) cook upon contact with the hot pudding, much like they do in egg drop soup, so you needn't worry about eating raw eggs.

This is one of those recipes where you can get away with substituting powdered milk, so I sometimes make it to use up close-dated powdered milk.

Arroz Doce (Portuguese Sweet Rice)

3/4 c. long-grain white rice
1 1/4 c. water
4 c. milk
3-4" cinnamon stick
peel of one lemon
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. butter

In slow cooker, cook rice in water on "high" until rice absorbs all liquid. Scald milk with lemon peel and cinnamon stick in it (5-6 minutes in microwave on "high" will do it) Add milk to rice one cup at a time, waiting many minutes between additions until milk is absorbed by rice. When 2 cups of milk have been added, add sugar and salt. Continue cooking on "high", stirring frequently. When all milk has been absorbed, add egg yolks and butter. Beat egg whites until stiff, then fold in. Serve hot or cold, sprinkled with cinnamon on top.

Double Batch Hints:
When I make a double batch, I scald the milk in two four-cup batches, using a different lemon peel and cinnamon stick in each batch. I add two cups of milk at a time and add the sugar and salt after the first four cups of milk have been added, then scald the second four cups of milk right before adding them.