Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lemon-Rice Cake with Warm Blueberry Sauce

If you've spent time in Italy, chances are you've sampled this lemon flavored rice cake. It's one of my favorite desserts and I think you might enjoy it, too. It's simple to prepare and chances are you already have the ingredients needed to prepare it. I like to serve the cake warm, but it can be wrapped and refrigerated for a day. I think the cake becomes heavy if it is allowed to sit. Mine is a minority opinion. The recipe is adapted from one developed by Patricia Wells. I serve it with a simple, warm blueberry sauce that is very easy to prepare. If blueberries aren't your favorite fruit, substitute something that is more to your liking. The cake has been dressed up for its photograph. I normally serve it in a shallow bowl surrounded by fruit. This dessert does not stand on ceremony; it's true peasant fare.

Lemon-Rice Cake

1 cup Arborio rice
1 quart whole milk (no substitutes)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided use
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

1) Combine rice, milk, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to keep rice from sticking and milk from boiling over. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and milk is nearly all absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully as rice can stick and burn. Remove from heat and cool for at least 1 hour.
2) Adjust a rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
3) Combine eggs and reserved 1/4 cup sugar in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until thick and lemon colored. Add vanilla, zest and lemon juice; mix thoroughly. Stir in rice mixture. Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top.
4) Bake until rice cake is a deep golden color and center is firm to touch, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on baking rack. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
5) Remove sides of springform pan, leaving cake on base of pan. Sprinkle top with confectioners' sugar. Cut and serve with fruit sauce if desired. Yield 8 to 12 servings.

Warm Blueberry Sauce

1 pound blueberries, washed and stemmed if necessary
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons water

1) Combine blueberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2) Transfer berry mixture to a 2-quart saucepan. Add water; bring to a simmer over low heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Yield: 2 cups.


Martha said...

I love peasant desserts. This sounds good.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, that looks delish. I love anything lemon-flavored. I even like lemon perfume. :-)

Thanks Mary,


Unknown said...

how appealing... :)

Donna-FFW said...

Sounds delicious, almost like a rice pudding? Different consistency? I do have all the ingredients. Nice dessert change.

Heather S-G said...

I've never seen a rice cake...this looks amazing to me! It is something I definitely would love to try.

Netts Nook said...

I don't know who you do it day after day you make it look so effortless. I love anything lemon I am giving this a try for sure.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Donna a bit like a rice pudding but the texture is different and it is denser.

noble pig said...

I have never had the pleaure of trying a cake like this. I love the idea of the rice in there. Very nice and I must give it a try.

Katy said...

Sounds good to me! I love rice. Hmm..I happen to have all the ingredients....

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

I've been in several different parts of Italy, but never have seen this. It really looks wonderful.

Karen said...

This sounds delicious... have never seen it before.

NKP said...

The Italians are genius when it comes to using up rice and breads. Sounds like a lovely dessert - I like rice pudding, so I imagine I would like the cake.

Allie said...

Mary, I can't wait to try this. I wish I'd known of it during Passover!

Laura said...

Wow you truly specialize in unusual (and delicious) cakes. This one is going on my to try list for sure.

Ning said...

As an Asian, (with rice being our main staple,) I never viewed rice as a dessert. But this certainly sounds intriguing! :)

Lori said...

I have not had this but this is something I would love to try. When I was doing Tuesdays with Dorie we made a fig and polenta cake that totally surprised me. I so loved it.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

My gosh this sounds so good! I love rice puddings and the lemon and blueberry combo is wonderful. thanks.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Melynda, thanks for visiting with us. I hope you'll be a frequent visitor.

Kate said...

This looks absolutely, completely, porn-o-riffic fantastic. I would LOVE this. I think it was Thomas Keller (don't quote me) who said he could divide people into two categories: Those who go for chocolate desserts, and those who go for lemon desserts. Within that lemon category was a host of things people would like, and I wish I could find the article now because I fit every description in that category. I'd want this lemony rice dessert over a piece of chocolate cake any day of the week. YUM!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Kate, believe it or not this recipe is a hard sell. Folks must have lingering memories of bad rice pudding. I really, really love this dessert, especially when served on the day it's made.

CurtissAnn said...

I think this would be good to serve my grands for breakfast. Even sweet, it is nutritious. Thanks so much.

Tanna said...

OH, this sounds divine!! I am counting calories and hoping to lose a few pounds, but I will keep this in mind!! blessings ~ tanna

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