This recipe presents a nostalgic Italian torta di riso with a British twist, served warm and sprinkled with the warming flavours of nutmeg, as well as a concoction of seedless raspberry jam and lemon juice, if you’d like. Irresistibly creamy and indulgent, it’s also another exciting way to make use of your Arborio rice following an attempt on our restaurant-ready risotto here.
This recipe is featured in Nigella Lawson’s new BBC show which focuses on her favourite recipes for home-cooking. Nigella’s Eat, Cook, Repeat, premieres in Singapore on Monday, 16th August at 7.00pm, on StarHub channel 432 and BBC Player.
- 150 g Arborio rice
- 700 ml full-fat milk
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 lemon
- 75 g soft unsalted butter, plus more for greasing tin
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 75 g caster sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- Nutmeg, for grating
Put the rice, milk and salt into a heavy-based saucepan–I use one of 18 cm diameter–and finely grate the zest of the lemon into it. Over high heat, and stirring regularly, bring to the point where it looks like it’s just about to boil, though do not let it actually boil. Turn the heat down to low, and continue to cook the milk and rice for about 30 mins, stirring every now and then, until the rice is cooked and the milk is absorbed. Keep an eye on it, as you don’t want the milk to start boiling, nor do you want the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the 75 g of butter until melted. Scrape the contents of the pan into a bowl large enough to take all the remaining ingredients. Leave for about 1 hr to cool. Once it’s at room temperature, you can move on, so heat the oven to 160 C (140 C fan-forced), and butter a 20 cm springform cake tin.
Separate the eggs, letting the whites fall into a large grease-free bowl (which could be the bowl of a freestanding mixer) and drop the yolks into a wide measuring jug (or a bowl). Whisk the whites until stiff and set aside for a moment. Add the sugar to the yolks, and whisk–I use a balloon whisk with vigour, rather than an electric one here–until pale and moussy.
Add the vanilla extract and 2 tsps of juice from the zested lemon to the yolks and sugar, and then pour gradually into the cooled rice, folding it in well as you go.
Dollop a large spoonful of the stiffly whisked whites into the rice bowl and stir briskly to lighten the mixture, and then fold in a third of the remaining whites gently but thoroughly, then another third, and when that’s incorporated, fold in the rest. Pour and scrape this mixture gently into the prepared tin.
Grate nutmeg over generously and bake for 45 mins; by then the top will have set, with no hint of wobble underneath.
Text: Nigella Lawson