Minimally adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe in the Guardian.
Recently I’ve been pining for a good baked rice pudding, not a tinned one, not a bought one from anywhere else but a good, solid, home-made rice pudding with nutmeg and all the trimmings. But I’ve found it hard to find pudding rice anywhere right now and sort of got stymied by it all, giving up way too easy.
Then along comes a Nigella Lawson cooking article and in it is her version of Torta di Riso which sounded to push all the right buttons and I’ve been desperate to make it since finding it. As always I did a bit of looking around, especially into the traditional recipes out there and they all sounded great.
We’re going to do without the jam sauce for this as we’ve added candied peel to the main cake and have some recently poached pears with syrup that we think would go heavenly with it.
From the start there was that lovely, milky rice smell that you get from a great rice pudding.
- 150g arborio rice
- 700ml full-fat milk (gold top if you can get it)
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 lemon
- 75g soft, unsalted butter, plus more for greasing tin
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 75g caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 20g candied fruit peel
- Nutmeg, for grating
putting it all together
To begin add the rice, milk and salt to a heavy-based saucepan and add the zest of the lemon to this. Bring to almost a boil stirring regularly, don’t let it boil though so do keep an eye on it. Then, turning the heat to low, cook for 30 minutes stirring regularly to stop the rice/milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan, again don’t let it boil.
Once the rice has cooked and the milk has been absorbed take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter, stirring until this has melted into the rice. The put the rice and butter mix into a large bowl. Leave for an hour to cool.
After the hour is up heat the oven to 160C (140C fan)/320F/gas mark 3, then butter a 20cm springform cake tin.
Separate the white from the yolks into two different large bowls. Whisk the whites until stiff and set aside, then add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until pale and creamy, then add the vanilla extract, candied peel, and two teaspoons of lemon juice to the yolks and mix in to the rice mixture until well combined.
Then add a spoonful of whites to the yolk and mix in vigorously to loosen up the mixture. Then, a third at a time, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites until combined. Pour into prepared cake tin.
Grate the nutmeg over the top and bake for 45 minutes (this was actually spot on for us!), the top will have set and there will be no wobble.
Cool for about an hour on a wire rack, it will still be slightly warm. Ease out of the tin and transfer cake to a flat plate.
Nigella then suggests a jam sauce, jam loosened with water, but were going to have it with poached pears and the syrup from their poaching.