French cuisine has its regal rice pudding (riz à I’impératice), but the Austrians, never to be outdone by the French, have their Reis Trauttmans-dorff. A molded extravaganza of creamy rice and fresh berries (most recipes prefer raspberries, but fraises de bois or blueberries are also wonderful), it is truly a dish for the emperor’s table, and it was served often at the Hofburg palace.
There are a few tricks to making it well. First, use medium-grain rice, as its high starch content will help thicken the sauce; long-grain rice won’t do. Do not rinse the rice, as you want its surface starch to remain intact. Also, be sure that the rice is cooked until very soft; you will probably consider it overdone for most purposes. Rice firms up when chilled, and unless it is very tender, it will refrigerate into hard little pellets. While maraschino is the traditional flavoring, you can substitute any colorless fruit liqueur.
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