Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter traditions

The internet is such a wonderful source of information. And blogs spread customs and culture in a way nothing else can. I am learning such a lot about different ways of doing things. And so I found out about Swiss Easter rice tarts. I made one yesterday, a bit late I know but it is still the Easter season. And now I have the file for future years.

Swiss Easter Rice Tart
Also known as "Osterkuchen", Gateau de Paques", and "Torta de Riso".
Makes a 25 cm tart.

These rice tarts are eaten throughout the northern part of Italy and in Switzerland with slight regional variations. The Italian version is rather like a sweet risotto and contains ricotta and cream, but the Swiss version is lighter and smoother textured. This is a Swiss recipe.

Ingredients for the pastry

2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
150g butter
1 Tablespoon water

Ingredients for the filling

The bunny stencil is a traditional feature.
1/2 cup Arborio rice
3 cups milk
30g butter
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup almond meal
1 Tablespoon plain flour
3 eggs
icing sugar for dusting the top

Method for the pastry

  1. Soften the butter but do not melt.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and combine well with a spoon.
  3. Carefully add the water.
  4. Knead.
  5. Chill thoroughly.
  6. Line a large flan, quiche or pie plate with the raw pastry. Set aside. This is not a small tart.

Method for the filling

  1. Into a saucepan place the rice, milk, butter, sugar, and salt.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer until the mixture has thickened almost to the consistency of a risotto. This will take about 35 - 40 minutes. (At this point you could place the rice mixture in the fridge to cool overnight.)
  4. Place the saucepan in a large container of cold water for 10 minutes to cool.
  5. Puree thoroughly.
  6. Add the lemon zest.
  7. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  8. Add the almond meal and the spoonful of plain flour.
  9. Combine until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  10. Place the oven rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  11. Pour the filling into the pasty.
  12. Bake for approximately 50 minutes. The filling will puff up high before the cooking is finished. The top will be golden brown when the cooking is complete.
  13. After it has cooled, sprinkle icing sugar over the top. Traditionally there is a stencil of a bunny on the top. To do this just cut a bunny shape from paper and place it on the tart before you sprinkle the sugar. Then gently remove, leaving a golden shape.
  14. Serve warm or cold.
  15. Serve with whipped cream or sweetened marscapone, or lemon curd, or a compote of red fruits.
So ... you could make individual tarts like these.

Extra notes: 

  • It is more traditional to use ground hazelnuts instead of ground almonds.
  • Some people add slivered almonds, or hazelnuts, just before baking.
  • Orange rind can be used instead of lemon.
  • Some cooks add a little vanilla to the filling.

1 comment:

  1. Rice? Lemon? Tart?
    OMG. I think I've found the next must-try recipe!
    Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. And thanks for visiting my blog! I wish you the best of luck for my giveaway. :) I was just having a conversation over the weekend with a friend (also 100& vego) and we both agree that if people were made to breed, raise, slaughter and prepare their own meat there'd be a whole lot more people willing to give vegetarian a go! I wish you the best of luck in reducing your meat content; feel free to ask any questions, any time - I'm happy to help if I can. :)


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