The province of Limburg, gastronomically one of the more interesting areas of the country, is known for a large variety of culinary treasures, among which are its famous vlaaien, or pies. Limburg vlaaien are unique in their sort as they use yeast dough instead of a pie crust, and measure on average about 28 centimeters in diameter. Elaborate lattice works, almond shavings or swirls of whipped cream are used to top off the pies that often hold fruit fillings or custardy creams. One of the most popular choices is a creamy milk rice filling, the rijstevlaai.
Fortunately, Limburg pie shops have appeared all over the country and you will be able to enjoy a slice of pie with a cup of coffee or tea almost everywhere. You may like dark cherry, apple crumble or apricot. Sometimes a mocha vlaai, or one covered in fresh fruit may hit the spot. But if you’re out and about and want a unique, comforting choice, rijstevlaai is going to be your best bet.
- 250 gram (8.8 oz) flour
- 15 gram (0.5 oz) yeast
- 1 dl (3.4 fl oz) milk
- 20 gram (0.7 oz) soft butter
- 20 gram (0.7 oz) sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 500 ml (17 fl oz) milk
- 200 grams (7 oz) short grain rice
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 30 (1 oz) grams sugar
Mix the flour with the yeast and the milk, knead in the soft butter and the sugar and salt until you have a tender dough. Cover and let it rise until double in size.
In the meantime, wash the rice until it rinses clear. Bring it to a boil in the milk, then simmer it for twenty minutes or until the rice is tender. Set aside to let it cool. Split the egg, and mix in the egg yolk with the vanilla and the sugar. Whip the egg white until stiff, then carefully fold it in the rice.
Preheat an oven to 190C (375F). Punch down the dough, roll it into a large circle and line a pie form with the dough. Fill it with the rice mixture. Bake on the middle rack for thirty minutes. Remove the pie, let it cool for ten minutes, then remove it from the mold.
When cooled, serve as is, or cover with a layer of whipped cream and chocolate savings.