Torta di riso (italian rice tart)

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

A recipe from the Good Food collection.

Ingredients

Pastry

1 1/4 cups (155 g/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

1/4 cup (60 g/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

125 g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into

1 cm (1/2 inch) dice

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

1/2 cup (110 g/3 1/2 oz) arborio rice

1/2 cup (60 g/2 oz) raisins

2 tablespoons cognac or brandy

3 cups (750 ml/24 fl oz) cream

1 vanilla bean, split

2 cinnamon sticks

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup (180 g/6 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

1/3 cup (50 g/1 3/4 oz) pine nuts, toasted

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Method

1. To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the butter and toss to coat in the flour mix. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips for about 5 minutes or until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then make a well in the centre.

2. Mix the egg yolks, vanilla and 3 tablespoons of cold water together, then pour into the well. Using a flat-bladed knife, cut into the mixture while you turn the bowl until it is well combined and comes together in small beads. Pinch a small amount of dough together to see if it holds; if it still crumbles add 1 more teaspoon of water.

3. Gather the dough together, press into a ball then flatten into a 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper or plastic wrap until it is 36 cm (14 inches) in diameter. Remove the top layer of baking paper and invert the pastry onto a 28 cm (11 inch) fluted tart dish or tin with 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) sides. Remove the final layer of paper and carefully press the pastry into the dish, allowing any extra to hang over the sides, then trim the edges using a small sharp knife. Prick the base all over with a fork then put in the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Toss the raisins and cognac together and set aside to soak. Cook the rice in boiling water for 15 minutes, or until tender—there will still be some give. Drain, rinse with cold water and leave to drain and cool thoroughly. Place the cream, vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring almost to the boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse and cool.

6. Remove the tart from the fridge, line with lightly crumpled baking paper and pour in some baking beads and spread evenly over the base. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the paper and beads and cook for a further 10–15 minutes, or until lightly golden all over. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the temperature to slow 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).

7. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and creamy. Strain the cream mixture and stir into the eggs until well combined. Combine the cold rice with the raisins and pine nuts.

8. When the tart shell is at room temperature evenly spread the rice mixture over the base, then gently pour over the custard. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the centre has just set. Allow the tart to cool completely as it will break up if you try to cut it while it is still warm. Serve with lightly whipped cream.