This month I am sharing traditional Christmas desserts from around the world.
If you haven’t read my previous posts on this tour of Christmas desserts start here and work your way through each post. We have been to Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, and Australia.
Today we will be making the traditional dessert of Spain-
Arroz con Leche or Rice Pudding
Although it may not be a typical Christmas dessert in Spain, due to it’s being served year round. For me, it reminds me of Christmas because of my very first taste of this dish.
My son’s best friend, all through high school, is Hispanic and at Christmas time his mom would make rice pudding. He would bring a bowl to us, straight from the stove top. It was warm and delicious, topped with a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Christmas Traditions of Spain-
Most people in Spain go to Midnight Mass or ‘La Misa Del Gallo’ (The Mass of the Rooster). It is called this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night that Jesus was born.
After the midnight service, people walk through the streets carrying torches, playing guitars and beating on tambourines and drums. One Spanish saying is ‘Esta Noche es Noche-Buena, Y no Es Noche de dormir’ which means ‘Tonight is the good night and it is not meant for sleeping!’
Apart from Christmas, there is another festival that is celebrated in Spain that is about the Christmas Story. It is called Epiphany and is celebrated on 6th January. In Spanish, Epiphany is called ‘Fiesta de Los Tres Reyes Mages’: in English, this means ‘The festival of the three Magic Kings’. Epiphany celebrates when the Kings or Wise men brought gifts to the baby Jesus.
Children have some presents on Christmas Day, but most are opened at Epiphany. Some children believe that the Kings bring presents to them at Epiphany. They write letters to the Kings on Boxing Day, December 26th, asking for toys and presents. And on Epiphany Eve (January 5th) they leave shoes on windowsills or balconies or under the Christmas Tree to be filled with presents. Gifts are often left by children for the Kings, a glass of Cognac for each King, a satsuma, and some walnuts. Sometimes a bucket of water is left for the camels that bring the Kings! If the children have been bad, the Kings might leave pieces of coal made out of sugar in the presents!
Arroz con Leche can be eaten warm or cold. There are a variety of recipes with small differences to them, including this Instant Pot recipe which makes it a quick dessert to prepare.
I love that Arroz con Leche is such a comforting food that warms your soul in the wintertime.
We have one last stop on our Christmas desserts around the World and that is to Mexico to try their Butter Cookies.
Until Next Time…..Travel On!
- 1 cup short grain rice, like Arborio rice
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup whole milk, divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ Tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup raisins (optional)
- In an Instant Pot, combine rice, water, and salt.
- Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and 3 minutes cook time.
- When beep sounds let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, manually release any remaining pressure.
- Add 1 cup cream, ½ cup milk, and sugar to rice in the Instant Pot; stir to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs with remaining ½ cup milk and vanilla.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into Instant Pot.
- Select saute and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil.
- Turn Instant Pot off, remove inner pot from Instant Pot and stir in raisins.
- Pudding will thicken as it cools. Serve warm or pour into individual serving dishes and chill.
- Top with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired.
Yes! I want FREE vacation planning tips
Get access to travel tips, destinations, itineraries, recipes and more!