Gateau de Riz . .
Bernard Picolet uses his grandmother’s recipe to make this creamy, cake-like rice pudding at Aux Amis du Beaujolais in Paris. She cooked it for hours near an open fire. Picolet bakes it in the over, in a caramelized pan, dresses it up with Créme Anglaise and calls it a gateau.
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum
6 cups milk
1 cup short grain white rice (Italian Arborio)
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
4 eggs separated
1 Soak raisins in rum in a bowl for at least 1 hour. Combine milk, rice, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until the rice absorbs all of the liquid - about an hour. Remove from the heat, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the rice and discard pod. Sit rice aside to cool to room temperature.
2 Pour 1 cup of the sugar into a skillet, shaking the skillet so that the sugar spreads evenly, and place over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until sugar begins to melt, about 2 minutes, then stir with a wooden spoon until golden and just beginning to foam, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a 9” baking pan, then working quickly before the caramel hardens, tilt the pan back and forth to coat the bottom and sides.
3 Preheat oven to 375º. Stir the egg yolks and raisins into the rice. Beat egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle in remaining 1tbsp sugar, continue to beat until soft peaks form, then fold into rice mixture. Transfer to the caramelized pan, set pan in a shallow pan of water, and bake until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a platter. Serve with Créme Anglaise.
Créme Anglaise . . .
To make this delicate custard sauce put 2 cups of milk and 1 split vanilla bean in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk together 6 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium bowl. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk 1/2 cup hot milk into egg mixture, then whisk egg mixture into remaining hot milk. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, strain through a fine sieve, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stop custard from overcooking by placing the bowl into a container full of ice water. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the sauce and discard the pod. Cool to room temperature then refrigerator until cold. Makes 2 cups.