Rice pudding

Rice pudding

Arroz doce

By
From
Lisbon
Serves
4
Photographer
Steven Joyce

At first taste, I thought the pale yellow colour of Portuguese rice pudding was down to incredibly rich cream or oodles of butter. But, during lunch with our friend Hugo Goncalves, I got the chance to ask his mother, Maria Helena Goncalves, or Lena, who co-owns and runs Foxtrot cocktail bar. She explained that – like so many desserts in Lisbon – this too is enriched with egg yolks, which in Lisbon seem to always be a gloriously vivid shade of orange.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g pudding rice
650ml water
pinch salt
1/2 unwaxed lemon, cut into long strips
1/2 cinnamon stick
250ml whole milk
40g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter
ground cinnamon, to serve

Method

  1. Place the rice in a saucepan with the water, salt, strips of lemon zest and cinnamon stick over a low heat and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the rice is just tender.
  2. When the rice has been cooking for 25 minutes, heat the milk and sugar in a separate pan.
  3. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
  4. After the 30 minutes has elapsed, turn the heat under the rice down to the lowest possible setting and begin to incorporate the hot milk-and-sugar mixture into the cooked rice by adding it gradually and often, stirring after each addition, much like risotto. Once it has all been added, the rice should be the consistency of thick porridge. Remove from the heat.
  5. Add a spoonful of the hot rice mixture to the beaten yolks and mix quickly, to temper them. Then, stir the egg-yolk mixture bit-by-bit into the rest of the rice, still in the pan but off the heat, mixing quickly. Return the pan to a very low heat, add the butter and cook for 3 minutes, stirring to prevent the egg at the bottom of the pan overheating and splitting.
  6. Divide between 4 serving bowls and serve warm or cold, dusted with cinnamon.
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