This rice pudding cake is every bit as wonderful as it sounds: an Italian torta di riso, refracted through the prism of someone who loves a bowl of very British rice pudding.
- 150g/5½oz arborio rice
- 700ml/1¼ pints full-fat milk
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 lemon, zest and 2 tsp juice
- 75g/2¾oz soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
- 3 large free-range eggs, separated
- 75g/2¾oz caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- nutmeg, for grating
For the sauce
- 200g/7oz seedless raspberry jam
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- dash raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord (optional)
Put the rice, milk and salt into a heavy-based saucepan and finely grate the lemon zest into it. Place over a high heat, and stirring regularly, bring to just below boiling point, then turn the heat down to low and cook for about 30 minutes, 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 boil or the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter. Transfer to a bowl large enough to take all the remaining ingredients and leave for about 1 hour to cool.
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3 and butter a 20cm/8in springform tin.
Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until stiff, then set aside. Add the sugar to the yolks, and whisk until pale and mousse-like. Add the vanilla and 2 teaspoons of juice from the zested lemon to the yolks and sugar, and then pour gradually into the cooled rice, folding it in well.
Dollop a large spoonful of the whisked whites into the rice 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 minutes, until the top has set, with no hint of wobble underneath.
Leave the tin on a wire rack for about 1 hour, until it’s just slightly warm. To ease the unmoulding, slip a small spatula all around the edges, unclip the tin, and transfer the cake, still on its base, to a flat plate.
To make the sauce, gently heat the raspberry jam, lemon juice and raspberry liqueur, if using.
Serve each slice drizzled with a little of the glistening sauce.