It isn’t actually raining at the moment but the weather forecast sure matches the skies that loom above right now. This recipe for belgian rice tart – rijsttaart – is a project that I’ve been working on since our return from Belgium last year. Recipes online will either use puff pastry or shortcrust pastry for the crust, but I discovered that the former will turn soggy if there are any leftovers.
There are 2 versions to this tart. One way is to add the beaten whole eggs to the cooked rice whereas in the second, the egg yolks are mixed in first and the beaten egg whites are folded in after. I’ve made it both ways and like the “fluffier” texture of the egg white version since it comes closest to the one we bought at Bonne-Espérance Abbey’s boulangerie.
Ingredients (for 1 rice tart)
3 cups whole milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or try using 1/4 grated tonka bean)
2 large eggs, separated
1 prepared 9-inch deep dish pie crust, blind-baked for 10 minutes
1. Combine milk, sugar, and rice in a heavy pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed much of the milk and reaches a loose, creamy consistency; 35-38 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary to avoid the mixture coming to a boil.
2. Turn off the heat source and continue to stir the mixture from time to time. This prevents it from forming a skin; cool completely.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F (I bake mine with the fan oven on). When the rice has cooled, stir in the egg yolks. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until the whites hold their shape when the beaters are lifted. Gently fold whites into the rice until incorporated well. Pour the mixture into the blind-baked pie crust and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top turns a golden color (it will have puffed up slightly). Cool completely before serving.
Left: rice tart made with arborio rice and whole eggs. It had a heavier texture.
Right: rice tart made with long-grain rice and yolks added separately from whites.