Medieval arroz con leche and a trip to Granada
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 8
A lusciously creamy rice pudding, arroz con leche, is a hugely popular dessert all over Spain, originated during the Medieval Muslim rule of Spain. Here is a 13th Century version, sweetened with honey instead of sugar.
  • 1 cup (200g) round grain rice
  • 6 cup (150dl) whole milk
  • ½ cup (175g) good quality honey
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • Melted butter to taste
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
  1. Put the rice in a bowl, add water and let it soak overnight.
  2. The next day let the rice drain thoroughly in a colander. Then transfer it to a pot, add the milk and the cinnamon stick.
  3. Bring it to a very soft boil and cook for 45 minutes, stirring often and scratching the bottom of the pot to prevent the rice from sticking.
  4. Add whatever sweetener you prefer, either honey, sugar or both (see note below) and keep cooking another 20 minutes, stirring till you have a soft and sticky mass.
  5. Once the rice is cooked and it has achieved a creamy consistency, test for sweetness and correct if desired. Take into account that it will further thicken on cooling.
  6. Tip the rice on a platter and let it cool covered, or better still covered with plastic foil touching the surface, so that it develops no skin (unless you like the skin of course).
  7. To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with a little melted butter.
For those who are not honey lovers, you can substitute half the honey with plain sugar, then the ratio is approximately ¼ cup (90g) honey/1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (110g) sugar; 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (230g) if you only use sugar. The sweetness of sugar is about ¾ of honey.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at