Portuguese Rice Pudding, Arroz Doce, is a traditional Portuguese dessert recipe made with rice, sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, and lemon peel.
The holidays are quickly approaching! I love this time of year, and now that I have kids all of the traditions surrounding the holidays mean even more to me. There are so many things that I, as a Portuguese-American, grew up with that I can’t wait to share with them. This fall I learned how to make homemade Portuguese sausage, and now that my parents are back from a long visit to Portugal I’ve been having my mom come over to teach me some more of her recipes.
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Some of our traditional Portuguese Christmas recipes are homemade chourico, caldo verde soup, shrimp turnovers and arroz doce, Portuguese rice pudding. I didn’t actually get my arroz doce recipe from my mom, my aunt is the one who always makes it, but when I tried out her recipe for the first time this week my mom came over to do a little quality assurance testing for me. If there is one thing you can count on it is my mom being honest about how a recipe turned out!
It was a lot easier to make than I thought it would be. I deviated from the norm a little (you knew I would didn’t you?), my aunt usually uses a short grain rice but I used jasmine rice, which is a long grain rice, instead and I loved the difference the long grains of the jasmine rice made in the texture. The recipe is a simple mixture of cooked rice, sugar, milk, eggs, and lemon peel. My favorite part is the topping. Traditionally arroz doce is topped with a cinnamon design, usually in a lattice pattern. I played around with mine a little and used a damask stencil that I have. I think it turned out so pretty!
The key is to get it as close to the top of the rice pudding, leaving little to no room between the stencil and pudding. This will give you a sharper looking image with the cinnamon.
So I know you’re all wondering, did it pass the mom test? Look at that smile! That’s the mom stamp of approval! She said it was some of the best rice pudding she has had :). I can’t wait to share the tradition with my kids this Christmas and hopefully teach them how to make it some day too!
- 1 cup Jasmine Rice or Short Grain Rice
- 2 cups Water
- 2 cups Hot milk whole preferred
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 Egg yolks
- 1 Lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Cinnamon optional
Cook rice with salt according to the package instructions.
Add hot milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, egg yolks, lemon rinds to the cooked rice and stir.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes covered until you reach an oatmeal consistency.
Divide rice pudding into dishes and let cool.
If you use cinnamon add the cinnamon design when rice is room temperature
Serve or store in refrigerator until needed
Ok, I shared one of my traditional recipes with you, tell me about one of your favorite traditional holiday recipe in the comments!