Wholesome Cook

Custard Rice Pudding with Apples and Cinnamon Meringue

Inspired by the iconic Australian desserts of the 1950s, this wonderful treat combines the comfort of a baked rice pudding with the wonderful flavours of apples and a cinnamon meringue top. 

A few weeks ago, I was invited to take part in an Australian blogger dessert recipe competition: The Baker’s Secret Great Australian Bakeline.

The task was set for me by the lovely people at IMPACT Communications on behalf of a World Kitchen – the company behind Baker’s Secret, who sponsored the contest. My personalised brief was to create a baked dessert iconic of the 1950s. It had to be Australian too! Considering I was born overseas and in the 80s, I was initially guided by the types of tins sent to me along with the invitation letter: a pie tin and what looked like a deep sponge tin with a loose bottom.

Just to be completely sure I was headed in the right direction with my recipe ideas – I chose to use the pie tin , I enlisted the help of Mr Chipconnoisseur’s Mum and her friends to find out whether they remembered any special desserts from their very early childhood and whether they had anything in common with my own theories about the era’s treats.

There were plenty. Most mentioned bread and butter puddings, baked custards and seasonal crumbles. To complete my research, I consulted an issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine, circa 1950s, that helped cement my decision to add a meringue top, well, on top…

And so, inspired by the iconic Australian desserts of the 1950s, this wonderful treat combines the comfort of a rice pudding made using my fool-proof homemade custard recipe, with the wonderful flavours of baked apples hidden under a light layer of cinnamon meringue.

Now, we may be in the 2000s, but despite the latest cupcake, muffin and macaron crazes, I think this classic dessert and the humble pie tin have a chance to remain crowd-pleasers for a while yet.

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4.8 from 5 votes

Custard Rice Pudding with Apples and Cinnamon Meringue

Servings: 6 -8


For the rice custard pudding:

  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unrefined sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

For the cinnamon meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the apple layer:

  • 1 1/2 apples peeled and quartered


To make the custard rice pudding:

  • Place rice and 1 1/2 cups water into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling.
  • Cook rice for a further 5 minutes, then cover with a lid and reduce
  • heat to low. Cook covered for another 5 minutes or until the rice is
  • tender.

In the meantime prepare the custard:

  • Place sugar and 3/4 cups water in another saucepan over medium heat
  • and bring to a boil.
  • Cook for a further 5 minutes for the mixture to become more syrupy.
  • Whisk together the milk, corn flour, egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  • Remove sugar water off the heat. Pour in the milk and yolk mixture and whisk. Place back over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring.
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To prepare the apples:

  • Slice apple quarters length-ways into 3 pieces.

To prepare the meringue:

  • Whisk egg whites and cinnamon until frothy. Add sugar in 3 batches while whisking until soft peaks stage. Set aside.
  • To assemble the pudding: whisk cooled custard back to smooth consistency. Add rice and mix.
  • Pour custard rice into a pie dish lined with some baking paper.
  • Arrange apple slices on top of the pudding.
  • Top with cinnamon meringue.

To bake:

  • Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the meringue has turned golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, cool to room temperature then refrigerate for 2 hour or overnight.

To serve:

  • Slice and serve chilled.


Original recipe by Martyna // Wholesome Cook
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholesomecook or tag #wholesomecook


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Stephanie July 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

What a beautiful recipe celebrating the the decade. And I really like the first pic. Looks great!

Jo July 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I remember my Mum making rice puddings for our desserts when we were kids. Loved them but you’re so right in saying that cupcakes and macarons have taken over these simple comforting desserts. Great photos, good luck in the comp!

Awanthi [email protected] Pleasures July 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Martyna, I have to tell you how much I love the fact that I can pin your recipes straight from my newsletter – AND follow a link to leave a reply! I adore this new set-up of yours. Many congratulations on finally being self-hosted; I look forward to joining the ranks of being self-hosted some day.

As for the recipe itself, well, it sounds amazing! I remember when I lived in Sydney I had the exact same problem one day because the theme for a pot-luck supper we were invited to was ‘Australian’ and I had no idea what constituted an Australian dessert. So I was wandering around the aisles of Coles feeling completely lost. Eventually I decided on my own version of passion fruit vanilla sponge cake. The lady at the checkout counter was friendly and asked if I was going to make a syrup with my passion fruit, and I confessed to her that it was going to be made into a sponge cake for a pot-luck supper with an Australian theme. She beamed at me from ear to ear. ‘Well, love’, she cackled, ‘you can’t get more Aussie than that!’

That cake was very well received, and honestly, I just winged it back then. I must say this looks delicious, and I cannot wait to give it a whirl sometime!

Best wishes for the competition!


Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Thanks Awanthi – I’m glad the newsletter worked well. I am still ironing out some issues when it comes to layout. Apparently IE does not like my photos that much and displays them a little funny. I guess that all comes part of the self-hosted parcel.

Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) July 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Wow, this dessert has everything in it. I wasn’t around during the 1950s so I’ll have to look over your shoulder and learn. :)

Raymund July 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Cinnamon meringue, that sounds really good

RecipeNewZ July 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I have never seen such an original way to serve rice pudding. Brilliant! and delicious :-). Wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing!

Lizzy (Good Things) July 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm


Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy July 17, 2012 at 9:31 am

This looks so comforting! They sure knew how to make a dessert back then. Thanks for sharing this with us!


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