Friday, 10 June 2016

Rice custard ~ baked ~ delectable!

This delicious dessert has been enjoyed by everyone who has tasted it.  It is particularly suitable for those who are frail or convalescent as it is easily digestible.  I first tried out the recipe for my frail and elderly mother, whose small appetite challenges us to find new and inventive ways of getting carbohydrates and other nourishing food into her.  She loves it.  It is also great way to use up that cup of left over rice - as long it isn't much salted.  Needless to say, the rest of us made happy inroads into it as well and it has become a favourite!  It's delicious hot or cold, and not too sweet.

Baked rice custard with jam and cream, a special treat.  What an indulgence!
In the photographs I hope you can see that the whole custard has held together well and a thick layer of baked custard formed on the top.

Ingredients and method:
  • Cooked rice - 1 cup.  I use Basmarti
  • Salt - 1/8th teaspoon - if desired
  • Eggs x 2
  • Milk - 2 cups
  • Sugar - 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla essence, a few drops if desired
From this you can see that the basic custard is a simple ratio of 1 cup of milk with one egg and one tablespoon of sugar, so it's easy to vary the overall quantity.

I start with warm rice and milk so that the mixture is warm when fully combined and placed in the oven.  This ensures a predictable baking time.  If starting with cold rice it can be put it in a steamer or the microwave to heat up a bit.  Just be sure that the rice and milk are not so warm as to begin to cook the eggs before everything is combined and in the oven, or you could end up with rice and scrambled eggs! 

Set the oven to 160 degrees Celsius / 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  
Beat eggs and salt, add sugar and then warmed milk.  
Put rice into a buttered casserole dish and put the liquid over it.  
The dish containing the custard is baked in what is called a bain marie, or water bath.  I have found the best way to do this is as follows:
  • Place a large and empty baking dish into the heated oven.  Mine is enamel. 
  • Place the filled casserole dish into this baking dish
  • Once the oven rack bearing the tray and baking dish has been pushed into the oven and everything is in place use a jug to carefully add warm water to the baking dish until it is perhaps half full.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until gently set.  

Do be careful not to overcook it as if set hard it won't be nice at all.  To test that it is sufficiently set open the oven door and with a carefully protected hand gently lift one side of the casserole dish and tilt it.  It should still quiver or at least move a little.  When removing the casserole dish from the oven take care not to slop the hot water from the baking dish.  This can be removed later when the water has cooled.  Just remember that it is there before you use the oven again - and yes, I've done it: slopped cold water everywhere when whisking the dish out to make way for something else!

I've added another photograph so that you can better see the handsome Temuka pottery bowl I've served it in, a design which has a favourite glaze from years gone by. 

My other recipes and foody articles can be found by following the link below:
Articles in my Elderly and Dependent series can be found by following the link below:


Anonymous said...

That looks like a most delicious and simple recipe.
You might be interested in "A Handbook of Invalid Cooking" by Mary A. Boland: it's been reprinted recently in a facsimile edition and the text is also available on chestofbooks(dot)com - it has recipes for lots of simple, delicate and nourishing dishes. I refer to my copy often.
Another favourite resource of mine is "Eating Your Way to Health" by Ruth Bircher, translated by Claire Loewenfeld.


Leigh Christina Russell said...

Hi Valerie,
Thanks for this, and particularly for the reference to the cookbooks. My mother's frail condition and delicate appetite have made me very aware that this requires a particular form of cooking, which may be different to what suits others; it's not necessarily what I have expected.
Best wishes,