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Arroz con Leche – Rice Pudding, Slow Cooker Style

I promised the lovely women at my most recent event that would post the recipe for my rice pudding. I triple this recipe to make a large batch of rice pudding, but a single batch can be made in a small crockpot. No eggs, no condensed milk, just good, creamy loveliness for all members of the family any time of day.

1 cup rice (about 7 ounces or 210 grams), short to medium grain
6 cups whole milk (1 or 2% work fine too)
3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
Pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick and 1 whole star anise (or your favorite spices!)
Zest of one orange and or lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar, sucanat, or honey
½ teaspoon vanilla
Optional garnishes:
Ground cinnamon, chocolate shavings, dulce de leche, fresh berries
Put the milk and cream in a small slow cooker with the sweetener, orange peel, cinnamon stick, and pinch of salt. Cook on low for 2-4 hours. Stir occasionally, increase frequency of stirring as the cooking time increases. Turn off the heat before the mixture gets thick as it will thicken as it cools.
Remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise from the rice and stir in the butter.
The rice pudding or arroz con leche can be served warm or cold. Garnish with ground cinnamon, berries, dulce de leche, chocolate shavings, etc.

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