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.
Custard Rice Pudding with Apples and Cinnamon Meringue
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
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.
- 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.
- Slice and serve chilled.