la tarte au riz - Belgian rice tart

I don't know if it's the cold weather or what, but I'm really craving for Belgian dishes these days. Sweet in particular. Of course. La "tarte au riz" is a traditional Belgian tart with a yeasted crust and a rice custard filling. Not particularly "light". Of course. But delicious.

la tarte au riz
from everybody eats well in Belgium (p.288-289)
by Ruth Van Waerebeek and Maria Robbins

4 cups milk
3/4 cup rice, rinsed and drained (the recipe called for long-grain rice; i opted for short-grain)
pinch of salt
1 tbs packaged vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 ts vanilla extract or 1/4 ts ground cinnamon
Flemish Yeast dough (here)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
confectioner's sugar, for garnish

1. Pour all but 3 tbs of the milk into a large heavy sauce pan. Save the 3 tbs milk in a small bowl. Add the rice and salt to the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep the grains separate. Watch the milk carefully so it does not boil over. Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and simmer gently until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Do not stir the rice during this part of the cooking. When the rice is done and has absorbed all the milk, remove from the heat but keep covered.

2. Dissolve the pudding mix in the reserved 3 tbs milk. Stir into the rice mixture together with the granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Return the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes over medium heat until the custard is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool lukewarm.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter and flour 2 8-inch pie pans.

4. Divide the dough in half and roll out each half into a circle, 1/4 inch thick. Line the prepared pans with the dough. Press into the pans and trim and crimp the edges. prick holes in the bottom with a fork. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm spot for 20 minutes.

5. Separate the eggs and stir the egg yolks, one at a time, into the rice custard. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks; gently fold into the rice custard.

6. Divide the rice evenly between the 2 pie shells. Bake until puffed up and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. The pies can be stored well wrapped, in a cool place up to 1 week.

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