Just imagine this treat for a second… Creamy baked rice pudding in a soft pie crust. This lovely rice pie recipe is a classic Belgian dessert! And it is also a sweet childhood memory for me. Let me show you how easy it is to make this slice of creamy rice heaven!
This rice pie recipe is such a classic here in Belgium.
And I love it to bits. I’ve eaten this pie all my life. And if I need a quick dessert for a dinner party, then I will definitely go pick up this pie. Every baker shop and supermarket here sells these authentic rice pies. You can buy an entire rice pie. Or you can also get it in slices, good for one person.
There might be a couple of differences depending on where you buy your rice pie.
And it mainly has to do with the filling. It should be creamy and moist. Not dry and rock hard! The problem is that these pies always sit in a refrigerator. And that’s the worst enemy for cooked rice dishes. Because a cold environment turns cooked rice into bullets.
That also why I hardly buy takeaway sushi, because the rice is stone cold and chewy. Of course, I get that you can’t just let raw fish sit at room temperature.
My point is, once you buy the rice pie you better keep it at room temperature if you want the best chance to get that center a little creamier. Another thing you can do is to try out my rice pie recipe and make the filling extra creamy of course!
So back when I was younger, my mom and grandma would often buy rice pies as a Sunday afternoon treat. But it is only recently that I actually started wondering if I could make such a classic rice pie recipe at home myself.
From scratch. And that’s what I did!
Do you know any other popular Belgian sweet treats?
Apart from the classic waffles I mean. There’s this stuffed pastry tart from the Flemish city of Geraardsbergen (Grammont) that goes by the name of mattentaart. An it is a little puff pastry pie that contains a firm filling of a mixture of milk, buttermilk, almonds and eggs.
Another well known dessert is the Limburgse vlaai, or a fruit pie from the Limburg region.
And have you heard of speculoos before?
That name might not immediately ring a bell, but maybe biscoff does. Those little dark brown biscuits from Lotus Bakeries, which is a Belgian bakery.
OK, so back to our rice pie recipe again.
One word of advise.
Don’t let the lengthy rice pie recipe below scare you off right away. Yes, it takes a while to make and bake this rice pie. But believe me, it is also such a fun pie recipe to make!
And the minute you set your teeth in this warm creamy pie, it will be worth every second of your time you put into it because it is just irresistible…
When people ask me what a rice pie actually is, I just say it’s kind of like baked rice pudding in a soft pie shell.
Which is true.
Easy Belgian Rice Pie Recipe
A little more about that soft pie shell.
This rice pie shell hasn’t got anything to do with a classic puff pastry or shortcrust pastry. You need to make this special soft pastry from scratch for this rice pie recipe below.
Because it is a pie shell that contains yeast. And that’s why it is so fluffy and light of course.
It is such a particular type of pastry that you can’t buy this rice pie shell anywhere like other ready made and baked pie shells.
And it doesn’t really have a specific name, that’s why I prefer to call it a yeast shell. Because that is its most important ingredient. Can you use another kind of pastry instead? Of course, but then it will obviously be a totally different pie than this classic rice pie recipe below.
I’m not much of a baker, but I do love getting my hands dirty in the kitchen and make this classic pie from scratch at home!
It does take some time to prepare this rice pie recipe. But like I said before, the minute you set your teeth in this warm creamy pie…
It will be worth every second of your time!
Do you love this rice pie recipe?
Then also check out another Belgian classic pie: a lush sugar pie that kind of reminds me of a pecan pie, but then without the pecans on top.
Belgian Rice Pie Recipe
Creamy baked rice pudding in a soft pie crust... this rice pie recipe is a classic Belgian dessert!
- 4,5 oz rice (125 g), long grain or Arborio
- 5,5 oz plain flour (155 g)
- ⅓ oz fresh yeast (10 g)
- 2 ¾ cups whole milk (660 ml)
- 4 tbsp cream
- 1,4 oz unsalted butter (40 g), cold
- 4 oz caster sugar (115 g)
- ½ vanilla bean split open
- 2 tsp cornstarch or instant vanilla pudding powder
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 small egg
- Warm ¼ cup (60 ml) of milk until it is tepid, don’t let it simmer. Add the all purpose flour, fresh yeast, cold unsalted butter, 1 egg yolk, a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of the caster sugar to a blender.
- Pulse into a dry and crumbly mixture. Pour in the tepid milk.
- Pulse again until you get a firm dough. Add extra flour if the dough it too wet or sticky.
- Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface. Sprinkle with a little extra flour and start kneading the dough for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it loosely up in some cling film. It will raise a little so don’t make it too tight. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to activate the yeast. In the meantime combine the rice, 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) of milk, the vanilla bean, a tiny pinch of salt and 2 oz (55 g) of caster sugar in a medium saucepan.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle boil. Then turn the heat lower and simmer the rice for about 20 minutes or until it is almost tender and the milk has almost disappeared. Keep an eye on it or the rice might burn. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream just to keep the rice moist or the pie will be too dry. Remove the vanilla bean.
- Heat the rest of the milk in a small saucepan.
- In a separate saucepan add 1 egg yolk and half of the remaining caster sugar.
- Whisk into a creamy mixture and then add the rest of the sugar as well.
- Stir the creamy yolk mixture for another minute. Then place the saucepan over medium heat and gradually pour in the hot milk while stirring constantly.
- Once the milk is added, add the cornstarch (or instant vanilla pudding powder) as well.
- Bring the yolk mixture to a light boil for 4 minutes until it thickens and turns into a runny custard consistency. Stir regularly.
- Add this warm custard to the cooked rice and stir well.
- Put the rice aside for now. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface and coat a tart tin with it. I used a small tin of 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.
- Scoop the creamy rice filling in it and spread it evenly.
- Beat the remaining egg and brush the top with the egg wash.
- Bake the rice pie in a preheated oven at 356°F (180°C) for about 35 minutes until the top and the crust is golden brown. Remove the freshly baked pie from the oven and let it cool in its tin for 10 minutes. Cut it into wedges and serve lukewarm.
Do you know of any other rice dessert recipes besides this rice pie recipe above?
Well one you might immediately think of is a classic rice pudding of course. I also mentioned that one in my recipe above. You know, even in Spain and in South America this dessert is very popular. There it goes by the name of arroz con leche.
Rice pudding is a delicious treat as well, and a cheap one to make!
Even in India, there’s a version of rice pudding! Maybe you have heard of it before, it’s name is kheer.
And let’s stay in that area for a while. In Thailand you can also find a rice dessert.
Sticky rice with mango of course!
The same glutinous rice that you need for that treat, is also used to make another sticky dessert. Wrap sticky rice, coconut milk and a banana in a banana leaf and steam it. In Thailand it is a popular roadside snack.
Do you know of any other rice desserts?
Leave a comment below!
In the meantime enjoy my rice pie recipe!