Rice pudding, also known as arroz con leche, is a simple dessert often served in Costa Rica and other Spanish speaking countries. There are a variety of ways to prepare the dish, but perhaps the most simple involves the use of condensed and evaporated milk. This recipe yields approximately six servings of rice pudding, which can be served either hot or cold.
Combine rice and three cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn heat to medium and bring the rice and water to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for an additional five minutes.
Turn off the heat completely after five minutes. Allow the rice to stand for 10 minutes in which time the steam inside the pan will cook it thoroughly. Do not remove the lid during this time.
Test the rice for tenderness. If it's not done to your liking, place the lid back on and wait another three to five minutes before checking again. Add more hot water if necessary, ¼ cup at a time.
Add the condensed milk, evaporated milk and cinnamon sticks to the pan. Stir well to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the rice pudding is thick and creamy. Remove the pan from heat and discard the cinnamon sticks. Serve the rice pudding hot, or chill for two to three hours in the refrigerator and serve cold.
Garnish the rice pudding with ground cinnamon and whole cloves, if desired.