Now that summer is over I finally have some time to dig back into my pile of retro gelatin recipes. This time I let my brother choose! So we now present to you: Rice Ring Chantilly.
I know you are dying to learn how to make a molded gelatin ring with rice in it, but first we have to discuss this “chantilly” business.
What is a Chantilly?
Chantilly cream is what immediately comes to mind, which is touted as some delicate French thing but in reality is just sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla. Some sources say a chantilly-style recipe is anything blended with sweetened whipping cream, like chantilly sauce which is just creamed hollandaise sauce. Others say chantilly can be any dish made light and airy with heavy cream or even beaten eggs. So does that by default make every custard a chantilly or do you have to specifically add vanilla and whip the cream first? What about that mustard ring aspic? It has heavy cream and eggs in it. By someone’s definition it could be a chantilly, right? Maybe…not.
I found a recipe for rice chantilly which is literally just rice, cheese and sour cream so either “chantilly” describes absolutely any dish with any kind of cream whatsoever or it could be a label used to make food sound a whole lot fancier than it is. I’m thinking the latter.
Anyway, this rice ring has whipped heavy cream in it, as well as vanilla extract so I suppose it can justifiably be called a chantilly.
This recipe is from a newspaper clipping from 1967 (the date is on the back). Half of it is missing, but the important stuff is all there. The half-heading under the half-photo suggests this dessert would be a “yummy treat for that special valentine, too!” It must be good then.
It is also worth noting that this recipe is remarkably similar to a Swedish rice ring, which appears to be a “traditional” Americanized version of a moulded Swedish rice pudding called Rice a la Malta.
Rice Ring Chantilly
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup cold cooked rice
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped.
- Combine sugar, salt and gelatin in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the milk and eggs, mix thoroughly.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats spoon.
- Cool. Fold in rice and vanilla. Cool until mixture starts to thicken and fold in whipped cream.
- Spoon into a 1 quart (4 cups) mold and chill until firm. Unmold and serve with sweetened fruit.
The recipe is pretty clear on what to do. It is basically a molded stovetop custard with gelatin, rice and whipped cream in it.
Every step is pretty easy unless you’ve never made a custard before and don’t know how thick it’s supposed to be to “coat the spoon.” If that’s the case, then I suggest using a food thermometer and cooking/thickening until it reaches 160 degrees. This is about how hot it needs to be to ensure that the egg is cooked through.
Egg-based sauces and custards are probably my least favorite thing to make. Not because they’re difficult, but because they require a lot of patience that I don’t have and I am a bit paranoid about accidentally eating raw eggs. You do have to keep the heat low and be very careful with it though, because one misstep will lead to scrambling the eggs or curdling the milk.
Some additional notes and tips
- If you want to cool it down quickly, fill a bowl with ice and cold water and set the saucepan on top. Once it cools to around room temperature, add the rice and vanilla.
- Keep the pan on ice until it starts to thicken, then add the whipped cream. Do not use pre-whipped cream from a can, or anything like Cool-Whip. Use heavy cream and whip it by hand or in your blender for 5 seconds at a time. Sweetening the cream would be overkill since sugar and vanilla are already in the custard.
- If, like me, you do not have a 4-cup ring-shaped mold, use whatever shape of firm material mold you have on hand. I attempted making a mini-ring in a little silicone bundt mold but it didn’t work too well.
If you enjoy flan or vanilla pudding you will love this recipe.
My family was pleasantly surprised by how good this rice chantilly is. I am not typically a rice pudding person, but this one quickly grew on me with each bite. The flavor is excellent and the texture didn’t offend anyone, as these things often do. My husband – I should probably start calling him “N” – said the rice didn’t add much and could have easily been left out but he didn’t dislike it either. I honestly didn’t mind the texture at all, but it really does taste like a fluffy flan with rice in it.
Speaking of flan, you know what might be really good on this dessert is dulce de leche. Jam wasn’t too bad, but some kind of sauce would work better.
If you decide to make this dessert tomorrow and you want to go full 60’s, serve it with stuffed pork chops, a baked potato, broccoli and apple salad. I’m not making this up, it’s the suggested menu at the bottom of the recipe. Seems like a lot of food for a Thursday, but to each their own.