Chef's Recipes

Torta di riso (sweet rice pie)

A southern Italian sweet treat that's commonly eaten for breakfast in Campania, this is a hefty combination of rice pudding and sweet pastry.

By Vince LaMontagna
  • Serves 16
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus resting, cooling
Torta di riso (sweet rice pie)

"A nice piece of torta di riso and a good cup of coffee and you're ready to go for the day," Vince LaMontagna says. "You can serve this Campanian cake for afternoon tea too. It's not overly sweet, but you can add a little more sugar if you like. Galliano or any vanilla-based liqueur can be used instead of Strega, or you could use a nice Marsala - not too much, because you don't want it to darken the rice."

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 500 gm firm ricotta
  • 125 ml pouring cream (½ cup)
  • 60 ml Strega
  • 30 gm sugar
Pastry
  • 300 gm each plain and self-raising flour (2 cups)
  • 125 ml vegetable oil (½ cup)
  • 125 gm butter, diced
  • 110 gm sugar (½ cup)
  • 60 ml Strega
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla bean
Rice mixture
  • 500 gm medium-grain rice, rinsed
  • 500 ml buttermilk (2 cups)
  • 60 ml Strega
  • 55 gm caster sugar (¼ cup)
  • 30 gm sugar
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 thin piece each orange rind and lemon rind, removed with a peeler
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean

Method

  • 1
    For pastry, place ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low-medium speed to combine. Gradually add 80-100ml cold water until pastry begins to form, leaving the mixing bowl with clean sides, then give the mixture a burst on high speed to work the pastry until the consistency is firm but moist (3 minutes). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 190C. For rice mixture, combine ingredients and 600ml water in a saucepan and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until rice is cooked (15-17 minutes). Remove rinds and cinnamon quill, cover closely and set aside to cool (15-30 minutes).
  • 3
    Whisk eggs with remaining ingredients in an electric mixer until combined (1-2 minutes), then stir through rice mixture and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 4
    Halve pastry and roll each half to 3mm thick. Line an oiled 23cm-square cake tin with one half and add rice filling. Cut remaining pastry into 2cm-wide strips and create a lattice pattern on top, trimming excess and crimping edges. Bake until golden (20-30 minutes). Cool, then serve at room temperature.

Notes

Note Strega, an Italian herbal liqueur, is available from select bottle shops.Drink Suggestion: Vin Santo del Chianti, for its luscious texture, sweetness and a little acidity. Drink suggestion by Lara Marro.

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  • Author: Vince LaMontagna