The ultimate in comfort foods is good old fashioned rice pudding and Normandy’s Teurgoule is no exception. I first came across this yummy local dessert when I moved here to Normandy some twenty years ago. My husband and I were invited at the last minute to stay for a typical family dinner and the highlight was the arrival at the end of the meal of a large, earthenware bowl with a rather off-putting volcanic crust covering the dish. Our hosts laughed at our reaction, broke through the crust to reveal a creamy rice pudding with a definite cinnamon kick. Since then I have been a Teurgoule convert.
The recipe is a simple combination of five basic ingredients and should ideally include Normandy’s unique creamy milk. The secret is to leave the pudding to cook at a low temperature for a good long while in an earthenware dish. Originally the Teurgoule was put in a wood burning bread oven to cook slowly in the embers at the end of the day’s baking. Traditionally the pudding is served with a brioche called fallue and a glass or two of cider.
The name mostly likely comes from the expression se tordre la gueule [to pull a face] as the pudding is piping hot when it first comes out of the oven and can catch you unawares!
Nowadays you can buy Teurgoule on most local markets and also from producers who sell direct from their farms in the Bienvenue à la Ferme scheme.
Here is the definitive recipe from the Confrérie of Teurgoule, which holds its annual Teurgoule and Fallue competition in Houlgate every September:
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 6 hours
– 2 litres of full fat milk
– 150g rice
– 180g white caster sugar
– 1 pinch of salt
– 2 level teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Put the rice into an earthenware bowl with a 2 litre capacity.
Add in the caster sugar, salt and cinnamon and stir with a spatula.
Gently pour in the milk so that the rice stays put at the bottom of the dish.
Put the dish in a preheated oven at gas mark 5 (150°C) for one hour and then lower the heat to gas mark 3 (110°C) for four hours. The Teurgoule is ready when the dish is crusted over and the excess liquid has evaporated.
Bon appétit !
For more information on food and drink in Normandy, visit the Normandy Tourist Board website.
Cover photo © Calvados Tourisme | Text: Alison Weatherhead