Rice is not native* to Mexico; dulce de leche caramel sauce is.
Combine them to make a most delicious fusion food: Dulce De Leche Rice Pudding (photo #1).
It’s a treat for Cinco De Mayo or for any day of the year when your palate calls out for rice pudding.
And if this sounds good to you, check out photo #8: a rice pudding cheesecake with dulce de leche (the recipe link is in the photo caption).
Dulce de leche (DOOL-say day LETCH-ay) is a sweet, thick milk caramel sauce, prepared by slowly heating a can of sweetened milk until it caramelizes.
The result is a confection that can be used as a filling or sauce—or eaten from the jar (see photos #4, #5 and #6).
You can buy dulce de leche in a jar, but it’s easy to make—simply by heating sweetened condensed milk until it caramelizes, as in the recipe below.
Before the invention of sweetened condensed milk (it was patented by Gail Borden in 1856), dulce de leche was made by more laboriously reducing milk (cow’s or goat’s) with sugar.
Now it’s easy, so let’s start by making a batch.
Cajeta is the Mexican word for dulce de leche, and is made with goat’s milk.
Other Spanish -speaking countries use “dulce de leche.”
Ingredients For 1-1/4 Cups
1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F with the rack in middle. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate and cover tightly with foil. Set the pie plate in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the pie plate.
2. BAKE for 45 minutes, then check the water level. Add additional water as necessary, and bake another 45 minutes, or until the milk is thickened and brown. Remove the plate from the water bath and cool, uncovered.
3. REFRIGERATE, tightly covered, until ready to use. It will keep without loss of flavors for up to 2 weeks.
1. BRING 3 cups of milk to simmer in a small pot over medium heat. Add rice and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring with a wooden spatula every ten minutes.
2. WHISK the egg yolks, vanilla and salt with the remaining cup of milk and set aside.
3. SLOWLY MIX the egg yolk mixture into the rice and add the dulce de leche. Continue mixing until the contents come to a simmer and the rice pudding starts to thicken. Remove from heat and pour into individual bowls or ramekins. When ready to serve…
4. GARNISH with cinnamon and almonds.
You can toast slivered or whole almonds in just five minutes, in a regular or toaster oven. Toasting gives all nuts a deeper, smoother flavor. Toast 1/2 to 1 cup as a garnish. If you have leftovers, store them for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Use them cereal, on salads and soups, on vegetables, in muffin batter, on frosting, etc.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Spread the almonds in a single layer on cookie sheet or in a roasting pan. Bake for 3-4 minutes; then shake pan to for even browning.watching closely so that they don’t get over-toasted or burn.
2. RETURN to the oven, checking every minute until the almonds are the desired color. Don’t let them get too dark; they’ll acquire a burnt taste.
3. REMOVE from oven and immediately pour transfer to a large plate to cool in a single layer (otherwise, the almonds will continue to brown from the carryover heat.
4. STORE, completely cooled, in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
*Rice has been consumed in China for some 5,000 years. The first documented account of cultivation appears in 2,800 B.C.E. The grain then traveled west: to ancient Greece, from Persia to the Nile Delta, wherever there was the warmth and aquaculture it required. It came to the Western Hemisphere, landing in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1685. [Source]
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