Gateau de Riz Meringué

After spending a week in Paris with the public transport on strike, we were lucky enough that the TGV (bullet train) decided to resume work over the weekend and we were able to get home without a hitch 2 weeks ago. Last week it was Air France’s employees turn to stop work – in a big way on La Toussaint’s holidays. Thousands of peoples ended up as hostages, stuck at the airport with no flight to return home for their work the next day or worst … some found themselves spending their holidays at the airport going nowhere. Thank goodness, we didn’t planned any trip. My friend, Bee Ean posted some funny caricatures about this whole mess.

It seems like November will also be a worthy month for strikes: I just heard on the news that EDF (electricity company), SNCF (trains) & other public transport are threatening to go on strike (again) next week. The fishermen, in difficulties because of rising oil prices, are also demonstrating and threaten to block the petrol supplies. Looks like it will be a fun month for the French and Mr Sarkozy. 😛

Anyway, as I was saying, we got back from Paris to find a day old expired bottle of milk in our fridge. We decided to salvage it by turning it into a all time delicious and favourite French dessert, Gateau de riz or Rice Pudding.

Gateau de riz meringué

(Michèle’s recipe)

  • 270 g round grain rice or short-grain rice
  • 50 g butter (approximately)
  • 4 medium sized apples or apricots (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 eggs (separate the yolks and whites)
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 1 litre milk
  • a little bit of vanilla extract (bean or essence)
  • a pinch of salt
  • candid fruits (optional)
  1. Wash the rice and cook it in a pot of boiling water. When it comes to a boiling point again, let it cook for 5 minutes. Then drain the rice.
  2. While the rice is being cooked, sauté the apple slices in a pan with a bit of butter. (Optional: spread some cognac on the apples while it is being cooked.)
  3. In the meantime, boil the milk with the vanilla. Once it’s boiling, stir in the drained rice.
  4. When the rice completely absorb the milk, stir in 5 tbsp sugar and eventually the candid fruits if desired. Turn off the heat.
  5. Mix in the butter and stir quickly when adding the egg yolk to avoid it being scrambled.
  6. Spread the rice on a baking dish. Then lay apple slices (or apricots) on top of the rice.
  7. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, delicately fold in the rest of the sugar. Spread it on top of the apple slices
  8. Bake it on grill mode to golden brown the egg white. Be careful, it only takes a few seconds to brown.
  9. Chill the pudding in the refrigerator and serve cold.
The Verdict

As I was pressed for time, I did a simple version of it – just the pudding without fruits and the meringue (we covered it with home-made strawberry jam instead). It still tasted as good but I have to admit that the fruits and meringue version (which Michèle normally makes) give this pudding a special taste and kick. The meringue is soft and creamy – it’s like you are eating a coating of melted marshmallows. 😁 It’s a rather filling dessert that’ll keep you from going hungry too soon.

Gateau de riz meringué Rice pudding