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Recipe: rice pie (limburgse rijstevlaai)

When I started baking breads last Christmas holiday, it was mostly because I wanted to know if I could make three particular products: a foccaccia (to revive a memory from an amorous holiday trip with my girlfriend, now wife), a “limburgse kersenvlaai” (a cherry pie) and a “limburgse rijstevlaai” (a pie with rice & egg filling).

I made the foccaccia long ago (and like it a lot), the cherry pie a few weeks ago and last weekend I created the final one on my “bucket list”: the “rijstevlaai“.

IMAG0486

Both pies are made with enriched bread dough. In the old days (centuries ago) fruit pies were a way to preserve the produce of the land (grain, fruits, eggs, milk)  in the region where I was born: Limburg in the southern Netherlands. Rice pies were an influence of the Spaniards invading the southern part of the Netherlands and Belgium in the 80-year war.

The rice pie is relatively complex to make because it needs the right mix of ingredients to produce a good filling:  the cooked rice must be exactly moist and sweet enough.
I must say, the result is great! It’s just a shame that nobody in the family likes it… it’s a typical “Limburgian” treat and the “Hollenders” have a hard time appreciating the taste.


Here is the recipe for those who want to try and repeat it. I took it from an old recipe book (Vlaai en ander Limburgs gebak van Wil en Netty Engels – Geurts) and adapted it slightly (less egg, less sugar).

Ingredients

The dough:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 6 gr fast-action yeast
  • 1 dl milk
  • 25 gr butter (soft)
  • 15 gr caster sugar
  • 4 gr salt

The filling:

  • 1 liter full cream milk
  • 100 gr pudding rice
  • 100 gr caster sugar (70 gr for the rice and 30 gr for the egg mix)
  • 10 gr cornstarch
  • 3 eggs (large, ~200 gr total)

Instructions

Preparation of the filling:

  • Bring the milk to a boil in a pan with a thick bottom, and add the rice and the sugar. Let it come back to a boil, stirring constantly;
  • Turn down the heat as much as you can, cover the pan with a lid and let the rice cook until tender (about 1 hour). Stir the mixture occasionally.
  • Make sure the rice grains are tender and that the rice porridge is thick enough;
  • If you still see some unbound milk in the pan, take 5 to 10 gr cornstarch , mix with a little cold milk and add to the rice while stirring; bring the rice back to a boil and keep it at boiling point for a little bit while stirring constantly;
  • Then take the pan from the fire;
  • Let the rice cool down a bit.

Preparation of the dough :

  • Mix the flour in a bowl with the melted butter, sugar, yeast, milk (I use my hands, not a machine), until it comes together as a rough ball after 2 minutes;
  • Then add the salt and knead into a smooth and elastic dough for 8-10 minutes;
  • Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl; cover with clingfilm and let rise for about 1 hour (until doubled in size).

Creating the pie:

The dough:

  • Transfer the dough to your workbench, gently press the air out with the knuckles of your fists and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a circle of 3 mm thickness that is larger in diameter than the flan tin  (28-30 cm tin);
  • Gently place the dough flap into the greased flan tin. Make sure the dough can bounce back and a piece hangs over the edge;
  • Roll along the sharp edge of the tin with the rolling pin to remove the excess dough;
  • Prick holes in the the dough with a fork to prevent air pockets while baking, and place the tin in a warm place to rise (the dough  becomes thick and fluffy).

The filling:

  • Separate the eggs into yolks and whites and mix the yolks with 30 g sugar until frothy; Beat the egg whites until stiff;
  • Spoon the egg yolk / sugar mixture into the cooled rice porridge;
  • Then fold half of the egg whites carefully through the rice mixture;
  • Spread half of the rice mixture onto the bottom of the pie;
  • Fold the rest of the egg whites gently through the remaining rice;
  • Then spread this again over the pie.

The baking:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220°C;
  • Place the pie in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The pie is done when the filling and the bottom are brown and the dough separates from the tin.
  • Remove the pie from the oven. Carefully lift it out of the tin and place on a cooling rack.

Don’t cut the pie until it is completely cold.

The rijstevlaai is baked in a tin like this one:

IMG_4301-Kaiser-vlaaivorm-ø-28-cm-aluminium-anti-aanbaklaag

 

Note: I posted this earlier on Google+’s “the art of bread” community where it was not visible for everyone.

Enjoy! Eric

Comments

Comment from Paolo Seria
Posted: May 8, 2014 at 11:14

What you call Dough is very similar to what in Italy is called “Pasta Frolla”,
and is the basis for many desserts, especially the jam tarts.
The recipe that you describe is a cake that I personally do not know,
but it looks like a sweet Italian widespread in the south,
from the city of Naples, which is eaten during the Easter holidays.
His name is “Pastiera Napoletana” (maybe you already know).
The filling of this is different because instead of rice pudding
is used a special cream cheese named “Ricotta” to which is added sugar,
candied fruit, an essence made ​​from rose flowers and seeds of wheat,
softened in milk for a day.
If you want the full recipe (it’s in Italian, but the site contains a lot of photos)
take a look at http://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Pastiera-napoletana.html.

Enjoy! Paolo

P.S.
I am a many years Slackware’s fan (even of your package), but I also like to cook.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: May 8, 2014 at 16:22

Hi Paolo.

Looks like “pasta frolla” is what the british call “shortcrust dough”. The essential difference between pasta frolla and my dough, is that pasta frollla does not contain yeast. Pasta Frolla creates a crumbly pie crust, whereas the dough I describe is a real bread dough, enriched with milk and eggs – and it contains yeast so the dough needs to rise twice.

The “Pastiera Napoletana” is something entirely different than a “Limburgse Rijstevlaai” I am afraid. As far as I know the Rijstevlaai is a local pastry originating from the southern Netherlands and across the German border, but not eaten anywhere else.

Eric

Comment from BroX
Posted: May 11, 2014 at 19:18

Fantastisch! Thanks Eric!

Just ate it and it was delicious! With whipped cream and chocolate flakes on the top to make it a ‘deluxe’.

Leon.

Comment from Ronald Everduim
Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:16

Awesome, I really like it so I’m going to give it a try as soon as we’ve got a new oven, last one started malfunctioning a couple of days ago.

Comment from Michael
Posted: May 24, 2014 at 11:28

Looks like a delicious pie! I’ll try baking this tonight lol. Thanks for the recipe.

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