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The Tuscan rice pudding tart of my childhood

Telling you about this cake is like opening the door of my house, showing you the fireplace where my grandpa used to stand by, with his hands behind is back to warm himself, it’s like offering you a barley coffee in my grandma’s 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 delicate and unique flavour.

rice pudding tart

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.

The rice pudding tart of my childhood

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 pudding tart

5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Tuscan
Servings 12


  • rice, 300 g (use soft sticky cooking rice to make puddings and desserts)
  • milk, 1 l
  • a tablespoon of liqueur, use the one you fancy more
  • peel of one lemon
  • eggs, 2
  • sugar, 5 tablespoons

Shortcrust pastry:

  • plain flour, 300 g
  • sugar, 150 g
  • softened butter, 150 g
  • egg, 1
  • baking powder, 1 teaspoon
  • peel of one orange, grated
  • salt, 1 pinch
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  • First thing first, let's make the 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 until you get a crumbly texture.
  • Beat the egg in a bowl, then add it to the crumbles and keep rubbing the ingredients with your 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 the 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 all well blended. Whip the egg whites and fold them softly into the rice mixture.
  • Roll the pastry dough 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 the extra pastry over the mixture. Bake for about 40 minutes in preheated oven at 170°C.
  • Let it cool down completely and dust with icing sugar to serve.
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You can find another version of this cake here

rice pudding tart

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. This is the first time I see rice cake like a slice of cake. Very creative and looks delicious. I would love to try.

  2. Hi! I love lemon anything and I am specifically fond of cookies and cakes that look like they would be really nice with hot tea and coffee, hence i am interested in you cake. Would arborio rice be okay? Are there other types of rice that would work also? The only rice I have in the cupboard is whole grain jasmine, and I’m doubting if that would work well. Thanks & Please Advise, Stella

  3. @ MaryMoh: really? it is very tipical in Italy! Happy you enjoyed it!
    @ Stella: hi Stella, you can try with arborio rice, because it will develop a creamy texture in cooking, but I don’t know whole grain jasmine… you can give it a try! Just remember it should get soft, chewy, creamy while cooking.
    @ Jen: we do love lemon! it seems we have same passions!

  4. Juls, your Grandma Menna stories are so touching, they bring tears. This cake is so dear and we will make it soon and think of you. Just love your posts. Best from Montecito where it has quit raining, finally?

  5. @ Fuji Mama: Please try it and tell me if you like it!! Sometimes it’s hard to translate my thoughts and memories in English, so I’m happy you appreciate them!
    @ Sherry: still raining here, when will spring finally arrive?

  6. Maybe I am missing something but could you please tell me the quantity of milk used for the rice. Being Italian I would love to make this for my boys.

      1. Yes, of course, sorry, it is 1 liter! in the ingredients it is listed as 1 l (the abbreviation for liter)

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