When most people think of rice pudding, they think of that dessert that is found in the glass refrigerated cabinets in diners–a cold, white pudding in a stemmed glass with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top. But the Portuguese version is different and, in fact, if you translate it into English it actually means “sweet rice.”
What makes it different is that Arroz Doce is made from a short-grain rice (I use arborio rice) that is cooked slowly and is creamier than the diner version. Plus, Arroz Doce is made with egg yolks and flavored with lemon peel.
Arroz Doce recipes vary a bit and produce creamier or more solid versions, depending on the family and part of Portugal the recipe comes from.
The Portuguese usually sprinkle cinnamon on top of the dessert after it is poured into a serving dish. Very often it is done in the shape of a heart of a lattice pattern, but you can also just sprinkle it on.