Recipe: Tarte au riz à la Normande


1 pastry case

1 rice pudding

1 Crème anglaise

1 apple tart


Assemble in the above order, bottom to top. Eat. Burp. Lie down swearing you’ll never, ever eat so much ever again.

Ha ha ha ha!

OK, joke over because this pudding is No Joke. When I wrote the chapter about cooking it, I called it “Now THAT’S a pudding!” and I wasn’t joking. It is effectively an apple tart on top of a rice pudding which you’ve enriched with Crème anglaise. No chantilly cream needed for this one.

OK real ingredients now

1 ready-made pastry case (see recipe after Chapter 15, taste aux pommel)

500 ml Crème anglaise

1.2kg apples

750ml milk

150g pudding (round) rice

25g butter

150g sugar

1-2 vanilla pods

10g cinnamon

You need quite a deep pastry case for this recipe, say 4-5 cms deep – so use a deep dish and don’t trim the pastry as you would for an apple tart. And first, go read the Apple Tart recipe after chapter 15 – this recipe is essentially that with a rice pudding slipped inside it. Oh, you need to read the Crème anglaise recipe after chapter 14, since you’ll need that too. OK? Finished? Right.

Blind bake your pastry case and make your Crème anglaise. Now boil the milk, sugar and split vanilla pod together and put the pan next to your rice pudding making saucepan. Yes, you’re going to make this on the stovetop as if you were making a savoury risotto. Except it’s a sweet one. OK? Got over that? Right.

So, same procedure as for a regular risotto. Melt the butter in the saucepan, add the rice and stir until the rice looks transparent. Then add the hot milk mix a small ladleful at a time, waiting until each ladleful has been absorbed before adding the next. You’re going to be here for 15-20 minutes so by all means listen to The Archers on the radio. And a bit of Front Row too, if you like.

When the rice pudding is cooked thoroughly and nice and thick, stir in the Crème anglaise – add this a ladleful or two at a time, you don’t want it to be too runny. Pour this into your pastry case and chill it, so it sets. Spread on top the apple compote as in the apple tart recipe, and finish by spreading your sliced apples on top of that – again as in the apple tart recipe after chapter 15.

Finish off with the apricot jam and chill it until you’re ready to serve. Probably wisest not to serve a huge main course and perhaps you should skip the starter this time too, OK? Just saying. It is, I promise you, delicious. But filling…

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