Kumquat & Chestnut Rice Pudding Pie

Time and chance happeneth to all men….and that’s how we met. On a cold autumn’s day in a room full of serviettes, wood and glue, I made a choice and it was you….dear Kumquat. Your face printed so lovingly on branches, perfect for decoupage
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As I plastered and pasted you on my wine box, I made a promise to me – to know you better! A few days down the road, Google told me what I didn’t know but sought – that you, Le Kumquat were an interesting fruit! The main-stay of an orange liqueur out of Corfu…perfect for newlyweds and when the babies come! One unopened bottle later from my local Gall & Gall, I was nearly home. 


It was months later that Sligro made it all perfect – this union of ours…and I did also meet your cousins, the limequats

IMG_8293 IMG_8291IMG_8302 Kumquats through wine bottle

When at first I took a bite of your sweet skin, I was puzzled. You reminded me of the mango skins out of my tropical Africa, firm on the outside but somewhat warm and soft on the inside. One taste of your core though left my mouth sour and so I took to steeling myself before every gulp of your juice. I developed a pattern – eat the top off, drink some tart juice and finish off with the sweet flesh…

Till I met a colleague at the coffee machine, kumquats in hand. He expressed delight for the very fruit and when I proceeded to talk about the pros and cons, he looked on …puzzled. Shocked at my elaborate eating pattern of bite, drink, bite, he said, I just eat it…all at once!



Surprise, shock, amazement…especially when I tried it. Why, oh why do I have to make things so complicated for me? Why can’t I simply adhere to the KISS principle? Anyhow, many experiments later – drink, dried and fresh, I can say that I’ve grown to love and treasure you…and to always have you around, so much so that when this Foodie Fight challenge came up I said to me….again, an opportunity to partner with you…and put some chestnuts in the fray. Yummy!


This recipe is a combination of a traditional Sicilian Dolce di Castagne e Riso and Torta di riso, a recipe from Jamie’s Italy which I’d been wanting to make for years. It is my weapon for Foodie Fights Challenge 16 and battle-ready we are 🙂



This is a 2-part recipe, which involves a pie crust and filling.   


  1.  Make the filling a day ahead
  2. Jamie suggests letting the rice still retain a bite when it’s cooked, I say not…I prefer the softness of well-cooked rice in this dessert
  3. You will not be able to zest the kumquats. Your best bet is peeling them off like you do Mandarins/Clementines and then slicing them to form strips
  4. If you must roast the chestnuts, ensure you make a cross on the rounded side before baking!
  5. Reserve the kumquat insides for….jam or preserves…mine are still in the fridge, waiting on a bolt of inspiration!   

Dolce di castagne, kumquats e riso in 3 easy steps :  make filling, make crust, assemble and bake! (Guided by a recipe from Jamie’s Italy, where he uses orange zest instead of my Kumquats and where Chestnuts don’t make an appearance!)


Rice pudding filling – the day before


55g butter
Seeds of 2 vanilla pods
50g roasted /cooked chestnuts, chopped (About 10 nuts, I used roasted)
325 g risotto rice (I used Arborio)
5 tablespoons caster sugar
Skin of 12 kumquats, peeled off and sliced
1 wineglass of white wine
1 litre milk
2 eggs, whisked
2 tablespoons icing sugar 



Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade (about 400 degrees fahrenheit)


In a high-sided pot or pan, melt the butter on low heat.

Add the vanilla caviar to the melted butter, stirring to loosen up seeds. Allow it cook for 1 minute.

Add the chopped chestnuts and let cook for a further minute.

Put rice in the pan, along with caster sugar and the kumquat strips.

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Turn the heat to medium and add the white wine, stirring until the wine has almost cooked away (about 3 minutes).




Slowly add the milk while continuing to stir the rice and simmer the mixture over low heat, stirring often, for about 15 – 20 minutes. The filling is ready when the rice is cooked.

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Jamie advises on not over-cooking the rice, suggesting that since it cooks further in the oven, it will have time enough to soften. I say it’s tricky and would rather have the rice as closed to soft as possible for the oven baking won’t overly soften the grains. At this point anyway, the mixture will be somewhat liquidy – creamy and risottoey which gives me confidence (for future risottos :-).




Allow the rice mixture to cool slightly and then mix in the whisked eggs.

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Leave in a covered pan (on the stovetop) overnight for the flavours to meld.

For the pie crust  – On the day *

(Makes one 28cm/11 inch pie crust)

125g unsalted butter

100g icing sugar

pinch of salt

255g plain flour

Seeds of 1 vanilla pod

Skin of 8 kumquats, sliced in thin strips

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons cold milk or water

*I’m not used to freezing pastry shells/pie crusts so forgive me if I do it on the day. One day I’ll settle down long enough to write my own how-to, till then….. 

Grease a loose-bottomed 28cm/ 11 inch pie tin with a little butter


To make short crust pastry, cream together the butter, sugar and salt

Butter and icing sugar Eggs in the kid

The dough The dough

Rub in the flour, vanilla caviar, kumquat strips and egg yolks.

When this looks like coarse breadcrumbs, add cold milk or water and pat gently

Form into a ball and flour lightly

In a ball

Do not over work the pastry or it will become elastic and chewy, not crisp and flaky. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour (I did for 3 hours!)

Wrapped up in film

Remove from the fridge and roll it out as thinly as you can on a lightly floured surface. Then line the tart tin….as best as you can (mine seemed a tad small for the tin but I managed to stretch it…to fit!) and freeze for an hour.

In pie tin

When the hour’s up, preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake the pastry shell for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside

Kumquat pie crust 

The Assembly

You should have your rice pudding…and your pastry case now ready

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade (400 degrees Fahrenheit)

Fill the pastry case with the rice mixture….



….and sprinkle with icing sugar


Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden.

Serve with a quenelle of creme fraiche and some kumquat strips….


Lekker (Dutch for delicious)!!!!!!!!

If I were fabric, I would be Cashmere – soft, pretty, strong and warming all the same….
If I were perfume, I would be the sweetest smelling citrus…ever to be seen

But I’m a rice pudding
But not just any pudding
But a wonderfully, scented, tasty one too!

Baked in a thin, flaky and delicious crust
Garnished with chestnuts and kumquats and all whatnots
Come join, have a slice of this scented delight!


Next time…and yes there will be a next time :-), I will bake it all on the same day to see what the rice mixture turns out like, if it remains liquidy. I’m also considering the option of a chocolate crust and plain lemon and chestnut filling in mini pie cases…..hmmm, can hardly wait!

Like it?  Love it? Then vote, vote, vote ….for it below…though to be fair, check out the other submissions from my fellow fighters! But also know that this rice pudding is delicious the morning after…and the morning after that too! It is huge for essentially 2 people so….loads for me 🙂

[polldaddy poll=2265596][wpurp-searchable-recipe]Kumquat & Chestnut Rice Pudding Pie – – –


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  2. Thanks for your vote. I won the challenge….and it was a great one! Loads of fantastic entries and recipes I will be making for sure!

    I truly enjoyed the challenge of the Foodie Fight and I am pleased at the results, but also for the critique….I’m learning to take feedback!

  3. What a marvellous & fabulous looking risotto pie! I so love kumquats, but they are sometimes a bit difficult to find here in Brussels.

    You did a splendid job!! Very creative too!

  4. I am so, so,so happy…fame but not fortune:-) I did think all the entries were fantastic though! It is so exciting to watch two ingredients used in diverse ways. Well done everyone.

    Peggy, Joy – Thanks!

    Mary – The yin-yang, black-white, sticky rice-coconut wih orange and lemon an maybe some flaked almonds somewhere and a topping of sugar…..sound delish!

  5. Conratulations on winning the Battle!
    I have been craving rice pudding since I saw your site, I’m thinking of making a “ying-yang” version with thai black sticky rice (coconut flavoring) and a citrusy kind like yours!

    Again Congrats on the win!

  6. Wow you did a GREAT job — this looks fantastic! I was never able to find kumquats but when I do i will be trying this, I am such a fan of rice puddings. The pictures are so beautiful and thorough 🙂

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