When I tell you Portuguese Rice Pudding is my most favorite dessert my Grandma Mary Jane made, I am not lying. When I was a kid and we would walk into her house I would squeal with delight when I saw it in the refrigerator. It is creamy, sweet and the flavors combined are out of this world. I will never turn down a bowl of this Portuguese Rice Pudding.
I wrote very detailed instructions because frankly, it is a little stressful to make your first time. And because it took me years to figure out how grandma made it. Because her instructions were more along the lines of “a little bit of this, a lot of that. Just taste it to make sure it is right!” Any Portuguese folks out there that can relate?!
Portuguese Rice Pudding
- 1 Large Stock Pot
- 1 Large Platter
- 1 Wooden Spoon
- 1/2 gallon 2% milk Do NOT use fat free. It won't work and you will be sad.
- 1 1/2 cups Pearl Rice Grandma likes Cal Rose. Do not use long grain, fancy... you need to go with pearl.
- Water To cover the rice before you start. Don't freak out because there is no measurement. Just look in the pot and make sure the rice is covered with water. I believe in you.
- 2 tbs Real Vanilla Extract I put a measurement here, but you need to measure with your heart. Vanilla is amazing- go until you feel like you should stop.
- 3/4 cup White Sugar
- 1 tbs Lemon Juice Don't skip this. It won't taste right without it. It wont taste like lemons either. The acid does something to the sugar so it adds brightness. Without it- it tastes flat. Trust me please.
- 4 large eggs whisked
- Pour rice into large stock pot and cover with water.
- Place on medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Slowly add about a quarter of the half gallon of milk. Continually stir until the rice has absorbed most of the milk. (When I say continually stir, you got to do it. It is a labor of love, but you do NOT want burnt rice pudding.)
- Add a quarter more of the milk. Repeat the stirring until mostly absorbed.
- Continue adding the milk until the entire half gallon is mostly absorbed into the rice (this takes about 40 minutes)
- While there is still hot milk, take about 1 cup of hot milk out of the pot and place it in a glass bowl (does not have to be exact)
- Whisk eggs. SLOWLY add whisked eggs to bowl of hot milk, stirring quickly so you can temper the eggs.
- Add tempered eggs and milk SLOWLY (again) back into the pudding mixture stirring quickly to incorporate. (You do not want to have scrambled eggs floating around)
- Add sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla to the pot. Stir to combine. Taste it to see if you need to adjust for your taste.
- Once the mixture is thick and pudding consistency (Should be very thick, difficult to stir) Take off the burner and pour onto a large platter.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon,
- Enjoy warm or place in refrigerator and enjoy it cold (MY FAVORITE!)