Known in French as “Teurgoule”, this slow-baked rice pudding with cinnamon is a family-style specialty from Lower Normandy. It is baked in an earthenware dish for several hours to create a thick caramelized crust on top and a soft, creamy pudding underneath.
Fun fact, the name “teurgoule” means twisted mouth in Norman (the regional language from Normandy). It is a reference to the faces supposedly pulled by Normandy people tasting this dessert – not out of disgust, but astonishment, as cinnamon was once a very foreign taste.
Indeed, the teurgoule is a great testimony of Lower Normandy being a major halt on the Spice Road in the 18th century. Ships from the India’s imported spices and grains to the Honfleur industrial port, introducing rice and cinnamon to the Normandy people for the first time … With milk already being a beloved local ingredient, this slow-baked rice pudding recipe was invented to get locals cooking with the new foreign ingredients. The teurgoule got adopted quickly by the Normandy people, who baked it in bread ovens after the bread was done, to give it a slow baking process.
Rice, cinnamon, sugar and milk. That is all you need to create this intensely flavorful and creamy dish. Surely one of the reasons why it remains still today a favorite in Normandy households.
You will also need a deep, earthenware dish – of any shape of your choosing, as long as it is deep and sturdy.
Do not rush the baking process as it is crucial to create the signature features of this dish. The several hours of baking creates a velvety soft pudding and the thick brown caramelized crust over the teurgoule. The taste of cinnamon is somewhat subtle, but goes perfectly with the creaminess of this dish.
Locals will tell you are not supposed to eat the crust, but I myself can’t resist the sweet little taste of Dulce de Leche that it has. Some people will also add some butter on top of the crust at the end of baking, to give it a darker hue (and even richer taste!).
This slow-baked Rice pudding with Cinnamon is traditionally enjoyed with a slice of “Fallue”, the classic creamy brioche from Normandy. And just like the Fallue, the “fallue and teurgoule brotherhood” organizes each year a national cooking competition to elect the best teurgoule.
This recipe is the one of French Baker Phillipe Gouley, winner of the Golden Teurgoule four years in a row. He also won several Golden Fallue.
Slow-baked Rice Pudding with CinnamonPrint This
1 liter of milk (2%, or higher)
½ cup light brown sugar (100g)(or 90g for a less sweet dessert)
10 sticks of cinnamon (20g) or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1/3 cup arborio rice (65g)
A pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 300F.
In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk, sugar and cinnamon sticks (or powder) to a simmer. Take off the stove, and remove the cinnamon sticks.
Place the rice in a deep earthenware dish and pour the milk on top. Add a pinch of salt, stir gently and place in the oven.
Bake for 3 and a half horus, until a thick crust has formed on top.
Take out of the oven and let cool down to room temperature.