The pretty island of Malta (actually part of a group of three islands, including the much smaller Gozo and Comino) is located about 60 miles south of Sicily and is an independent member of the British Commonwealth. In French culinary parlance, the word Maltaise almost always signifies orange flavoring of some kind. Typically, “Rice Maltaise Style” refers to a sweet rice pudding served with blood orange sauce and blood orange segments.
A simple, lightly sweetened rice pudding is traditionally served for dessert after Christmas Eve dinner in Sweden, and it is also customary to serve Riz à la Malta on Christmas Day. Usually, enough rice pudding is prepared for the first batch so that the busy cook on Christmas has only to fold in sweetened whipped cream and make some type of red sauce to accompany the pudding, most often cherry.
Typically, the soft pudding is simply spooned onto serving plates. I have added a little gelatin and molded the rice in this version to make the presentation a bit more stylish. If you prefer, omit the gelatin and the cherry aspic and serve the pudding the old-fashioned way.