Portuguese Sweet rice is a delicious Portuguese dessert that is typically made with Jasmine rice, eggs, lemon, and milk. It is a thick, custard rice pudding that is made perfect with a dusting of cinnamon. The flavor is that of a creamy, lemon goodness enjoyed warm or chilled.
Looking for a Arroz Doce (Portuguese Sweet Rice Pudding) recipe just like your Titia or Vavo made? This recipe is is exactly that classic version and is perfect for a Portuguese party, or together.
A few things I love about Portuguese Sweet Rice is that it is pretty inexpensive to make. Chances are, you might have Jasmine rice on-hand, whole milk, butter, lemon, vanilla extract, and cinnamon? If not, stores like Price Rite, or Aldi have these staples for a much cheaper price than mainstream markets.
Portuguese Sweet Rice Ingredients
- Fresh lemon zest See notes below*
- 2 cups Jasmine rice *long grain, white rice works too
- 2 cups of water
- 6 cups of whole milk
- 2 cups of white sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract
- 6 Eggs Yolks
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1 pinch of salt
Helpful Recipe Tips
I use a 5-quart, thick-walled stockpot for my recipe. I find cheaper, thinner versions can scorch the rice/milk mixture. I also use a large wooden spoon to stir the rice pudding as it cooks.
When grating the rind (colorful portion of the lemon) off your lemon, be sure to not scrape down to the pith. The pith is the white membrane over the lemon and is very bitter.
Lemon gives this rice such a burst of beautiful flavor. I used two lemons since I really love the flavor, however, you can dial it down to just one large lemon rind.
How to Make Arroz Doce
- In a thick stock pot, add your milk, water, butter, and rice bring these items to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once your mixture is simmering add your lemon zest, extract, pinch of salt, and sugar.
- Cook over Low heat for 25 minutes-stir frequently. If you do not stir frequently, your rice will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
- Separate your egg yolks (if you have not done this already).
- After 25 minutes, remove rice mixture from the heat, and stir in 1 egg yolk at a time rapidly to not make scrambled eggs. If you do it too slowly the yolks will cook.
- Place pot back on burner and cook on the lowest heat setting for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add rice to a serving dish or 13 x 9 Pyrex.
- Top with a generous amount of cinnamon.
- Rice will thicken as it cools.
Storing Rice Pudding
You can leave it at room temperature for the day (it tastes yummy warm or cold), but I recommend refrigerating any leftovers or rice you might not need until the next day. Simply cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. This does not freeze well.
If you love this Portuguese Rice Pudding you might also love this Chourico Stuffed Quahogs by Sizzling Eats.
Homemade Portuguese Sweet Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce)
- 5-6 quart stockpot
- wooden spoon
- 2 cups Jasmine rice white rice, short grain
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups water
- 6 cups whole milk
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 tbsp. Fresh lemon zest
- 1 tsp. lemon extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 tbsps cinnamon
- In a thick stock pot, add your milk, water, butter, and rice bring these items to a simmer over medium heat
- Once your rice is simmering add your lemon zest, extract, pinch of salt, and sugar
- Cook over Low heat for 25 minutes-stir frequently.
- Separate your egg yolks (if you have not done this earlier).
- After 25 minutes, remove rice from heat, and stir in 1 egg yolk at a time
- Place pot back on burner and cook on low heat for 5 minutes-stir frequently.
- Place in a nice serving dish, a Pyrex, or in individual cups. Refrigerate any leftovers
- Top with a generous amount of cinnamon & enjoy!