Everything about this post is very dear to my heart, starting with the arroz con leche and followed by the cause at hand. A few days ago, I visited one of my favorite blogs Make Life Sweeter. When I saw that Linda announced “Got Milk?”, a blogging event in support of World Breastfeeding Week, I knew I had to participate. I have been a bit absent from blogging events lately, but I really wanted to bake for this one.
I try to not to be too militant in my life. I want to keep my eyes and mind open to opinions and points of view, but breastfeeding and the lack of it in many countries (including my own) is an important subject to me. I believe in the bond that breastfeeding creates, in its health benefits and the de-sexualization of breastfeeding. This is not about confrontation or about criticizing those who do not breastfeed, but about raising awareness in our community of the important benefits of breastfeeding. I have found that here in the United States, many more mothers than I expected breastfeed, however, breastfeeding in public is not always accepted. I think it’s important to teach our communities how isolating it can be when a mother cannot breastfeed in public and it makes her feel like she is doing something wrong.
The premise of this event is to cook something with milk as the main ingredient. Of course, I immediately thought about arroz con leche and giving it a new twist by turning it into a creme brulee. I absolutely love the slightly caramelized milk when it’s reduced with the cinnamon and vanilla bean and then finished with crispy burnt sugar.
Arroz con Leche Milk Base
2 liters organic whole milk
100 grams sugar
100 grams Valencia rice or arborio rice
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
pinch of salt
In a large saucepan, heat the whole milk, the salt, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Heat the milk over medium heat stirring occasionally until it comes to a light boil. Add the sugar and the rice and reduce heat to medium low.
Cook stirring often for about an hour until the milk has reduced by almost half. We don’t want the milk to boil, just lightly simmer (some small bubbles are ok).
Strain the milk through a fine sieve reserving the milk and discarding the rice, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Save for another use, if desired.
Arroz con Leche Creme Brulee
1 liter of the rice cooking milk
10 organic egg yolks
50 grams sugar
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. Temper in the hot milk and whick until combined. Strain this custard through a fine sieve. Pour into ramekins. Place the ramekins on a sheetpan and bring it to the oven. Once it is in the oven, pour some boiling water in the sheetpan to create a water bath. Bake the custard in a 300F oven until the center sets. The time will depend on the size of your ramekins but for a 4 oz ramekin, it will take approximately 30 minutes.