Fragrant with warm spices and ginger, this Instant Pot Arroz con Dulce (Puerto Rican Rice Pudding) gets its creamy richness from coconut milk and eggs, and it's gluten and dairy free. Your Instant Pot/pressure cooker saves you the time spent stirring at the stove, and the resulting pudding will rival the best!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Rice Pudding
You'll find rice pudding variations all over the globe. In India you may find doodh pak - a sweet rice dessert with milk, saffron, cardamom, and almonds. In New England, your rice pudding may feature maple syrup. An Arabic muhalibiyya features milk, rice flour, sugar, and rose water. This is just "the tip of the iceberg"...
What rice pudding variations will we find in Latin American countries? A Mexican Arroz con leche may include tequila soaked raisins, orange peel, cinnamon, even chocolate, and some may be thickened with egg. Arroz con leche in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica includes spices like anise and star anise. So. Many. Options.
I landed on Puerto Rican inspired arroz con dulce (at least in part) because of the coconut milk. We are cutting back on dairy, and I love all things coconut. Making a dairy free rice pudding seemed a natural choice.
I knew I wanted to make my rice pudding in my pressure cooker (aka Instant Pot). I borrowed the technique for this recipe from my friend Barbara at Pressure Cooking Today. If you love your Instant Pot, head over and give her blog a look!
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- whole spices - Cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves are typical.
- fresh ginger
- arborio rice - This arroz con dulce recipes requires short-grained rice.
- coconut milk - This is the coconut milk found in a can in the Asian foods section of your market. It adds the coconut flavor that makes this rice pudding "Puerto Rican."
- non-dairy coconut milk - This the non-dairy coconut milk found in the "Dairy" section of your market. You can substitute dairy or other non-dairy milk.
- dried fruit - Dried cranberries, dried cherries, or raisins are great options!
- Make the spiced cooking liquid - YES, this step is worth it! Add water, spices, and ginger to a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a gentle boil. Reduce water to about 1 ½ cups. If you need to add a bit of water to bring it to 1 ½ cups, that's fine.
- Prepare the rice - Pour spice infused water through a strainer into the IP/pressure cooker. Add arborio rice and salt. Lock lid in place. Set to 3 minutes. Keep in mind the time to full pressure varies. If you start with hot water, it reduces the time. After 10 minutes natural pressure release, open to release any remaining pressure.
- Prepare the coconut milk - While the rice cooks, whisk together the coconut milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla together.
- Add the coconut milk and egg mixture - When the pressure is released, whisk in the coconut milk and eggs mixture. Select sauté setting and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker. Remove pot from the pressure cooker. Stir in dried fruit.
- Finish the arroz con dulce - Mixture will thicken as it cools. Allow to cool about 20 minutes to serve warm, or refrigerate and chill. Garnish as desired with whipping cream (non-dairy if dairy is a problem), cinnamon or fresh grated nutmeg, etc. If you really want to get fancy, garnish with candied cranberries.
Don't confuse coconut milk (in a can) with non-dairy coconut milk (in a carton). You need the coconut flavor from the coconut milk. You can substitute nut milk (or even dairy milk) for the non-dairy coconut milk.
If you're not concerned about dairy, by all means, use real whipped cream! There are some decent non-dairy options, or you can omit.
I recommend keeping the rice pudding about 4 days. Do not freeze the pudding, as it messes with the consistency and texture.
I use arborio rice, but some recipes call for sushi rice if you want to give that a try.
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