Arroz con Leche

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 strips of lemon or orange zest
3 whole cloves or a tiny pinch of ground cloves
4 cups water
1 egg
3 cups whole milk
1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (optional)


Soak the rice, cinnamon sticks, lemon or orange zest and whole or powdered cloves in the water in a heavy saucepan for 1 hour.

After soaking, bring the rice mixture to a boil on high heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil (about 5 minutes), lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.

While rice is cooking, beat the egg in a bowl. Add the milk and stir well to mix. Add the egg mixture, vanilla extract and condensed milk to the rice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, until it thickens slightly or until desired consistency, about 25 to 35 minutes This pudding does most of its thickening as it cools, but the end result should still be thinner than traditional rice pudding.