Riz a l’lmperatrice

One of the classic French desserts, Riz a Vhnperatrice (rce ah lahm-pair-‘trees) was first concocted for the capricious wife of Napoleon III, the Empress Eugenie. A marvellous mixture of rice, Crenie a la Vanille, cream, kirsch and candied fruit, it is very rich indeed and makes a spectacular end to a formal dinner party.

1 tablespoon butter

3 oz. round-grain rice

2 oz. sugar

H pints milk ½ teaspoons vanilla essence

2 tablespoons chopped candied peel

2 tablespoons chopped glace cherries

2 tablespoons kirsch

3 egg yolks

1 oz. gelatine dissolved in

1 tablespoons hot water

8 fl. oz. Creme a la Vanille, chilled

10 fl. oz. double cream , stiffly beaten

2 tablespoons apricot jam

Preheat the oven to cool 300CF (Gas Mark 2, 150°C). Grease a 2-pint baking dish with the tablespoon of butter. Place the rice, sugar, milk and vanilla essence in the dish and stir. Place in the oven and bake the pudding for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, place the candied peel and glace cherries in a small bowl and pour over the kirsch. Set aside to marinate at room temperature.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and beat in the egg yolks, one by one, then the gelatine mixture. Set aside to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Beat in the fruit and kirsch mixture. With a metal spoon, fold in the creme a la vanille and cream. Set aside.

Lightly coat the inside of a 2-pint mould with the apricot jam. Pour the rice mixture into the mould, smoothing it down with the back of a wooden spoon.

Place the mould in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours or until the mixture has set.

Remove the mould from the refrig-erator and dip the bottom quickly into hot water. Invert a serving dish over the mould and reverse the two. The rice mixture should slide out easily. Serve immediately. a a Riz Melba (ree mehl-bah) is a simple-to-make and delectable dessert, which tastes equally good served on its own or with Creme Chantilly.

2 oz. sugar

1 pint milk

6 oz. round-grain rice

1 egg yolk

2 fresh peaches, blanched, peeled, halved and stoned

4 oz. raspberry jam

2 tablespoons double cream

2 oz. flaked almonds, lightly toasted

4 oz. sugar

4 fl. oz. water

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, milk and rice. Set the pan over moderate heat and bring the milk to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan tightly and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the rice is cooked and tender and has absorbed all the milk. Stir in the egg yolk. Remove the Riz Melba is a simple, delightful dessert which tastes fabulous. pan from the heat and set the rice aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a medium-sized saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to moderately high and boil the syrup, without stirring, for 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and add the peaches, cut sides down, placing them in one layer in the pan. Poach the peaches for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are just tender but still retain their shape.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to a plate and set aside to cool.

Stir the jam into the syrup and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the sauce is smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and set the sauce aside to cool.

Stir the cream into the rice. Divide the rice equally among 4 individual serving glasses. Spoon over the syrup and place one peach half in each glass. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and place the glasses in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour before serving.

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