Califonia Bountiful

Miss Norgueira's sweet rice

For years, Stanislaus County dairy farmer Marcie Davis has been making this rice pudding recipe from the book "Portuguese Home Cooking," by Ana Patuleia Ortins. This is one of the Davis family's favorite treats made from their sheep farm's milk.

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5 cups milk
1 cup short-grain rice
1/2 tsp. salt
Peel of 1 orange, without pith, in large pieces
1 cup sugar
Ground cinnamon, for dusting


Pour milk into a 2 1/2-quart saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until little bubbles form around the edges and milk starts to steam. Remove from heat.

Put rice and salt into a separate 2 1/2-quart saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the rice. Place over medium-high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and, stirring constantly, cook rice just until the water evaporates, being careful not to burn it.

Stir scalded milk into rice and add orange peel. Cover and continue to simmer rice for another 20 to 25 minutes until it is almost done.

When rice is tender, remove orange peel and add sugar. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. The pudding should be somewhat thick, like oatmeal. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Pour onto flat platters or individual serving dishes and garnish with cinnamon in the Portuguese style: pinching some cinnamon between the index finger and thumb, dropping it close to the surface of the rice, in a design or initials of a guest of honor. Chill. Serve chilled or bring to room temperature for serving.

Tip: Use a vegetable peeler and light pressure to remove peel from oranges without removing the pith.

Serves 4 to 6

Photo: © 2021 Lori Eanes

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