Telling you about this cake is like opening the door of my house, showing you the fireplace where my grandpa used to stand, with his hands behind is back to warm himself, it’s like offering you a barley coffee in my grandma tin cup. It’s like walking together on the same path I used to follow coming back from school with the rucksack on my shoulders, waving hello to my neighbours as they appeared at the window. It is a simple and sweet cake we make very often, the main ingredient is rice! It’s a foolproof cake, you’ll love it for is hearty and unique flavour.
Mum loves the central part of the cake, coated with melted sugar, I prefer the shortcrust pastry shell instead, crumbly and orange scented. What I’m going to show you is not the canonical procedure to make shortcrust pastry, but this is how we usually make it at home since I can remember. When I make my shortcrust pastry is like watching an old family movie, one of that movies with bright colours and external voices belonging to people that are not here anymore, but who still live in your heart: it is a reassuring mantra and today we’ll make it together!
::::: RICE CAKE :::::
- rice, 300 gr (use soft sticky cooking rice to make puddings and desserts)
- milk, 1 lt
- a tablespoon of liqueur (use the one you fancy more)
- peel of one lemon
- eggs, 2
- sugar, 5 tablespoons
- plain flour, 300 gr
- sugar, 150 gr
- softened butter, 150 gr
- egg, 1
- baking powder, 1 teaspoon
- peel of one orange, grated
- salt, 1 pinch
Firts thing first, let’s make shortcrust pastry. Put the flour on a working surface, make a well in the middle and add sugar, salt, baking powder, grated orange peel and softened butter, diced. Rub all the ingredients with your fingertips and make crumbles. You must be light and rapid!
Beat the egg in a bowl, then add it to the crumbles and keep rubbing the ingredients with tour fingertips until you have a nice and smooth ball of dough. Wrap it in cling film and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
While the shortcrust is resting in the refrigerator, pour milk in a large pot and bring it to the simmer with a lemon peel. When it starts simmering, add rice and let it cook completely (it will depend on the kind of rice you chose: it must be throughly cooked, soft and sticky). Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool down completely.
When the rice is cold, add 2 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of liqueur as well. Stir well with a wooden spoon until it is well blended. Whip egg whites and fold them softly into the rice mixture.
Roll the pastry out and line a round baking tin (26 – 28 cm wide) with it: roll out the pastry to 5mm of thickness and line bottom and sides of the mould, leaving some extra pastry on the sides. Pour in the rice mixture and fold extra pastry over the mixture. Bake for about 40 minutes in preheated oven to 170°C.
Let it cool down completely and dust with icing sugar to serve.