Recipe 3 Torta di Riso
Florentine Rice Tart
The amazing smells of vanilla, orange and pastry that waft through your house while baking this torta are reason alone to try this recipe. This is a surprisingly light version of a new take on ways to serve rice pudding. The creaminess isn't compromised at all by the baking, and the light subtle flavors of vanilla and orange are a perfect compliment. I stepped out of the norm, instead of using a traditional tart pan went for rectangular 9 by to achieve a more rustic look. The use of vanilla beans is a definite, as the depth of flavor is unlike what vanilla extract can provide in this recipe. Plus, as a bonus, you can use the leftover pods to make vanilla sugar!
So, here goes, let's start with the shortcrust pastry. Jamie provides us with a simple, no fail recipe. Start by making sure all of your ingredients are cold. When making pastries, I like to refrigerate all the ingredients, including the dry, overnight. You will need;
nine tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
a pinch of salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
zest of 1/2 an orange (original recipe calls for the zest of one lemon)
two large egg yolks
two tablespoons cold milk (or water)
one vanilla bean, scored lengthwise and seeds removed
In a large bowl, sift the confectioners' sugar and flour together, discarding any leftover lumps. Cut the cold butter into the sugar and flour mixture using your hands, until you have the consistency of coarse bread crumbs, that when squeezed together hold their shape. Add the vanilla, orange zest, milk and egg yolks, mix together until combined and a ball of dough forms. Make sure to avoid over mixing, or processing the pastry dough as you want it to be as flaky and "short" as possible. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour before baking.
When ready to bake, roll out the dough, put into tart pan, and place in the freezer for one hour. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and bake for 12 minutes until lightly golden. I also find it is best to cover the bottom of the pastry crust with wax paper, and fill with dried beans to avoid the crust from bubbling while baking. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn the heat up to 400-degrees.
For the filling you will need;
four tablespoons unsalted butter
two vanilla beans
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
three tablespoons sugar
zest of three oranges
one wineglass of white wine (prosecco is also a wonderful option)
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or heavy cream)
two large eggs, whisked (preferably free range, organic)
two tablespoons confectioners sugar
A thick bottomed sauce pan works best when making the filling. Start by slowly melting the butter on low heat, when melted, add the seeds from the vanilla beans. Score each bean length wise, then using your knife scrap out the seeds. It is the leftover bean pods that can be stored with sugar, flavoring it with vanilla. Continue to cook on low 1 minute before adding the orange zest, sugar and rice. Increase the heat to medium, and stir in the white wine (or prosecco), continually stirring allow to cook almost of the wine is cooked away. Start adding in the milk, a half cup at a time until completely mixed in, bring to a slow simmer allowing to cook for 15 minutes. By now, the rice should have a bite to it and the mixture should still have a good amount of liquid. Allow to cool slightly, then slowly stir in the whisked eggs. Pour the mixture into the pastry crust and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Allow to cool at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.