Monday, December 01, 2008

I think I liked it
--Grandpa Boyen’s Famous Belgium Rice Custard Pie

Grandpa Boyen’s Famous Belgium Rice Custard Pie
America’s Best Lost Recipes Copyright 2007

1 cup pitted prunes
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons brandy
½ cup medium-grain or Arborio rice I used medium-grain
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 recipe Single-Crust Pie dough fit into a deep dish pie plate

1. Place the prunes, ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon brandy and 3 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook until the prunes are fully softened and the syrup is thick and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of brandy, and process until smooth. I bought jarred lekvar and added some brandy.
2. Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice and salt, reduce the heat to medium-low; and cook, covered, until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in the milk, remaining 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon, return to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is thickened and very soft, 40 to 50 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl until blended. Add 1 cup of the hot rice mixture to the eggs and stir vigorously until incorporated. Add the egg and rice mixture back to the saucepan and cookm stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute.
4. Spread the prune puree in an even layer over the bottom and sides of the unbaked pie shell. Pour the custard over the prune mixture and bake until the center of the custard has set, about 1 hour. Transfer the pie to a wire rack, cool slightly, then refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 2 hours. Serve. (The pie can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

I copied this recipe out of a library book a few weeks ago thinking it would be perfect for Thanksgiving. Most of my family enjoys a rice custard my mom makes for Christmas and we eat breads and cookies with prune filling around the holidays. Still, I classified it as 'experimental'.

It started off okay. I decided not to make the prunes from scratch. I bought a nice bottled brand of lekvar (prune puree) and added brandy. I tasted it on it's own and I thought it was good.

The rice cooked in 20 minutes just as it should. I added the milk and it thickened nicely in 50 minutes as it should. I added the eggs and it thickened in about a minute as it should. At that point I was like, wait a minute, I'm putting fully cooked rice pudding into the oven and it's supposed to take an hour to set? It was set in just a few minutes yet the crust wasn't cooked so I had to keep cooking it. The filling was quite firm by the time it came out of the oven. Extremely firm.

When I tasted it I was immediately turned off by the prune layer. I liked it on it's own but I didn't care for it in the pie. It was the brandy more than the prunes. I proclaimed it yucky and no one else even tried this pie while I was there.

I took home some of the leftovers and I decided that I really enjoyed the rice part. It was firmer than I expected but I'm not sure that it was firmer than it was supposed to be. I'll have to check the book out again and look at the picture once more and compare it to my pie.

It was certainly different than anything I've had before, pie-wise. I'd leave out the prune filling next time. Although, since no one else ate it there probably won't be a next time but I wouldn't mind eating it again.

Question of the Day: Have you ever seen a pie like this?


Randi said...

My gram made a baked rice pudding, but I've never seen a pie like this. Leave it to ATK to find it though. My library would never have this book and I've always been curious about it.

~~louise~~ said...

I can't say I have ever "seen" a rice pudding like this. I have read similar recipes in vintage cookbooks though. It's too bad the prune filling didn't work out. It would have made a wonderful disguise for non prune eaters. I'm curious to the time frame of this recipe. Did the book mention a lost recipe from an era?

As cookbook collector myself, I'm really liking your blog. Thanks so much for sharing...

Anonymous said...

I made this recipe this weekend (I ran across your blog while trying to find a pic to show a coworker). I enjoyed the pie, but made a few tweaks to the fruit base. I did a mix of prunes and dates and used spiced dark rum instead of the brandy. It was really good. I would greatly reduce the sugar next time, especially in the fruit.

Anonymous said...

I love that kind of recipe. I'll love to do that alone in home and share it with my wife, but first I need to buy through Viagra Online .