I thought Easter treats were all about hot cross buns and chocolate eggs until I saw a Swiss Easter Rice Tart at Swissbake. Curious, I took a tray and a tong, picked up one of the cheery yellow tarts dusted with icing sugar and made my way to the cashier. I was planing to have it as an after-dinner dessert but my mind couldn’t stop thinking about how it would taste like while driving home with it. Is it a rice pudding in a pâte sucrée kinda thing? Was the rice pureed? The thoughts made me losing focus… so you guess right, the tart became my pre-dinner snack. One hand on the wheel, one hand nibbling on the tart, with crumbs all over my jeans. It was gone before I reach home.
Not getting enough, the first thing I did when I reached home was to Google for it. And there it is, one obvious recipe by Nick Malgieri, which had also been featured in NY Times and posted by Smitten Kitchen and Rosa’s Yummy Yums. I also happened to have all the ingredients on hand! Without waiting, I started by boiling the rice.
I tweaked the recipe a little according to what was available to me. For the rice, I used basmati. For the milk, I used Meiji low-fat. I also added some almond extract following Deb (Smitten Kitchen)’s version. The tart I had from Swissbake had some raisins in there, so with an attempt to mimic that, I soaked a small handful of raisins in dark rum, add the rum-soaked raisins into the rice filling, together with part of the remaining rum.
I would say this tart tastes a little different from the one I had from Swissbake but it is equally good with a character of its own. Somehow it tastes like… Comfort. What are you baking this Easter?
SWISS EASTER RICE TART
Pan : 10-inch tart ring with removable base
For the Pastry Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
150g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 10 pieces
3 tablespoons cold water
- Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 3 to 4 times, until the butter resemble breadcrumbs.
- Add the water and pulse only 3 to 4 times. Invert the dough to a floured surface and carefully remove the blade. Gently press and squeeze the dough together and form it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour. You may keep the dough refrigerated for up to 2 days before continuing.
For the Rice Filling
1/2 cup rice (long-grain or basmati)
3 cups milk (I used low-fat)
1/2 cup sugar
15g / 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
enough dark rum to cover the raisins (optional)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Confectioners’ sugar for finishing
- Soak the raisins in the rum for at least 30 minutes. Then drain and reserve the rum.
- Boil the rice in a large pot of water. Stir occasionally. Lower the heat and simmer until it is very soft. About 15 minutes. Drain rice, but do not rinse it.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine the cooked rice with the milk, sugar, butter and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer and cook until it has reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Cool the rice mixture and puree in a food processor.
- Transfer the pureed rice into a bowl, stir in lemon zest and almond extract. In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds and flour, then stir into the rice.
- Stir in the eggs one at a time, stir until smooth after each addition.
- Stir in the raisins and 2 tablespoons of the remaining rum.
- Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a floured surface. Gently press the dough with a rolling pin to soften it. Roll the dough to a 12-inch disk. Transfer the dough to the tart pan and press well into the bottom and side of the pan. Scrape off excess dough at the rim of the pan.
- Pour the rice filling into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until the dough is baked through and the filling is set and golden, about 35 minutes.
- Cool the tart on a rack.
To serve, dust confectioner’s sugar on top.
Happy Easter Folks!