This is one of the first recipes I made after I got married many, many years ago. It was back in the ’80’s, I was recently married and eager to learn how to cook. This Romanian version of apple rice pudding was an easy recipe to try and it proved to be a keeper for years. It is still in my stack of recipes after so many years and I love it because it was always enjoyed by everyone, children and adults.
I actually have an emotional attachment for this recipe. It was handwritten at the end of my Romanian cooking book , the book that helped me learn how to cook. You see, when I moved to United States many years ago, this book came with me and it was one of the very few things I was able to bring in my suitcases.
There are other recipes I wrote down at the end of the same book, like a chocolate ice cream made with raw eggs, a simple chocolate cake (everything was made with cacao powder and not chocolate, because chocolate was not available), a pound cake with berries and a recipe for pickled peppers in vinegar, something that every family had to know how to make for winter. (We used to preserve lots of vegetables and fruits for winter, as it was a way of survival during the cold season.)
These recipes were popular and part of a Romanian communist cuisine, recipes that many people today don’t make anymore, due to the abundance of foods/ingredients available in the stores. However, for us, the first generation of immigrants living abroad, these recipes are treasured over the years in old cooking books or notebooks we brought with us when we left. They are part of our national identity that we try to preserve. We are attached to these recipes and try to pass them to our children, as little fragments of our Romanian roots.
Getting back to my apple rice pudding, this recipe has layers of rice cooked in milk and apples. The apples can be shredded, diced or sliced (your preference) and cooked in butter before joining the pudding. The whole thing is baked and then served with dollops of fruit preserves on top.
You can serve it too with a little bit of fruit syrup on top or your kids favorite marmelade, or jam. Berries are good…or cherries. Children love this recipe and I really encourage you, young parents, to try this recipe for your kids. You will not be sorry! I remember making this recipe for my daughter when she was a toddler. She really enjoyed it!
Interested in some other ideas of desserts? Here you have an easy one to make- Vanilla Magic Custard Cake.
- 1 cup/7 oz/200 g rice(DO NOT use parboiled or instant rice)
- 3 cups/700 ml whole milk
- a pinch of salt
- ¾ cup/150 g granulated sugar (split in two)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 17oz/500 g mere(3-4 medium size apples)
- 11 tablespoons/150 g unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven at 350F/180C.
- In a medium sauce pan bring to a boil the rice, milk and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the rice mixing continuously until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed, for about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and half of the amount of sugar. Add the vanilla.
- When the rice is cool, pour the egg mixture over it and mix well.
- Separately, clean the apples and cut them the way you prefer. You can shred them, mince them or just slice them thin.
- Place the apples in a pan with the amount of butter, the rest of sugar and the cinnamon.
- Cook them until soft.
- Butter the bottom and the edges of an 8x8 baking pan.
- Place a layer of rice mixture in the baking pan, a layer of cooked apples, another layer of rice and apples until you finish, making sure the last layer on top is rice.
- Bake the pudding for about 30 minutes until golden on top.
- Serve cold or warm.
- Optional: Serve it with a fruit syrup on top or your favorite fruit preserves.