I wanted to cook something Belgian, but their cuisine is not as extensive as I imagined, more likely because there dishes can be found in cuisines of nearby, bigger, countries as well. I picked Rijstevlaai, a rice pie, something that appears in Dutch and German cuisines too. As wikipedia says that Rijstevlaai is native to Verviers, a town in Belgium, I would consider it a Belgian dish.
We all know (and love) rice puddings and pies, but, until I found this recipe, I had no idea one can combine these two to make a dessert. I did enjoy it, is tasty and different. I would like to make it again, but I would use more flavours, as I think is a shame to have amazing flavours in the kitchen and not use them.
Another thing that was puzzling for me was the recipe for the pastry, it had yeast in it. My go-to pastry casing recipe is the standard: flour, butter, 1 egg, and a bit of sugar. I did like the pastry with yeast, but, for me, it will work better in a savoury dish. Of course, I will use it again for the next time I’m making Rijstevlaai.
Ingredients for 4 servings of Rijstevlaai pie:
– 125g white plain flour
– 60ml warm milk (for pastry)
– 25g sugar (for pastry)
– 25g butter, at room temperature
– 3g yeast, half of teaspoon
– 450ml milk (for rice)
– 100g rice
– 50g sugar
– 1 egg
– oil for greasing the tin and bowl
Make the dough because it will take time for it to rise. Put the flour, sugar, and butter in the bowl of the stand mixer. Make a well and put the yeast in the middle of the well. Pour the warm milk on top and start kneading with the mixer. Knead for 5 to 6 minutes. Oil a bowl and put the dough in it, cover it with cling film. Place the bowl in a warm place and leave it to rise for one hour.
Meanwhile, make the rice. It will need to cool down. Put the milk in a pan and bring it to boil. While the milk is heating, wash the rice. Add it to the milk when it’s bubbling. Stir and leave to cook on low heat. Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked. Leave the rice to cool down.
When the dough has risen and the rice is cold, make the pie. Dust the worktop with flour and thinly roll the pastry. I’ve used the 2mm adjustment for the rolling pin. Oil the baking tray and put the dough in the tray. Tap it with your fingers, so the dough covers neatly the tray. Cut the excess dough by rolling the rolling pin over the top. Prick the dough with a fork
Now is time to make the filling. Put the egg yolk in a bowl and add the sugar, mix until is pale and fluffy. Add 2/3 of the rice and mix. Put the egg mixture in the pastry casing.
In another bowl, whisk the egg white until it forms firm peaks. Put a spoon of the egg white in the remaining rice and mix, so the rice gets a bit loose. Fold in the rest of the egg whites. Place this mixture on top of the pie. The pie can be baked now.
Pre-heat the oven at 220C or 200C for fan assisted ovens. Put the pie in the oven and bake it for 15 minutes. If is baked, turn off the heat and leave the pie in the oven with the door ajar. Take the pie out of the tray when is cold.
You can decorate the pie with whipped cream and shavings of chocolate. I didn’t think it was necessary, maybe I’m going to do that next time.
Have you ever had Rijstevlaai before?