Mango & Rice Tart (Pudding) {ModBak}

I’ve been involved with the Modern Baker Challenge for a little over a year now. Some recipes have been bigger hits with my family than others, and I enjoyed the process of baking some of them more than others. But each of the nearly 70 recipes I’ve made so far has come out as expected.

Until now.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have had my first Modern Baker FAIL. Let me say right up front, though, that it was my fault, not that of the recipe. I know exactly what I did wrong, and I’m sure that if I tried baking this recipe again, I could achieve the intended results.

This is actually a rather simple recipe. You cook some rice, make a simple syrup, mix them together with coconut cream, then let the whole thing sit until the rice soaks up all the liquid. This mixture is then scraped into a prebaked cookie tart shell and topped with sliced mangoes.

So, how did I mess this up? On the very first step. I was doing five other things while cooking the rice, and let it scorch a bit. It didn’t burn exactly, but enough of it stuck to the bottom of the pan that there wasn’t sufficient rice to soak up all the liquid. Looking at the filling, I knew there was no way this would hold up as a tart. Picture a fruit pie that doesn’t set up, and you’ll have an idea of what I was facing.

Never one to let a little thing like failure get in my way, I realized the filling was about the texture of Kheer (Indian rice pudding), so I decided to serve it in custard dishes with sliced mangoes on top. My family didn’t know it was supposed to be a tart, and they loved it. And it really did taste like Kheer — sweet, creamy, and oh so coconutty. The mangoes gave the pudding an additional depth of texture and flavor and will be a regular part of my rice pudding and Kheer from now on.

I thought about remaking this recipe, but I feel like I got the true flavors in the pudding. And heaven knows I’ve eaten enough tarts in the past few months.


  1. Kayte said,

    May 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Looks really pretty. Good call on not telling the family what is was “supposed to be” and let it stand on it’s own. When the boys were little I put the milk in the sippy cups and handed them the cereal with a spoon. It wasn’t until they were school-age that they heard tales of cereal with milk on it…some things are just better left unknown until participants are ready to handle it. Burned rice is the worst thing in the world…I smell it in my nose for a week afterward so I am always really really cautious with rice. Now, if I had a rice maker. Hey…did you burn this rice in your rice maker?

    • gaaarp said,

      May 14, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      It was such a little amount of rice, I didn’t bother with the rice maker. That was probably my first mistake. I don’t usually burn rice on the stove; I was just distracted. The rice didn’t burn, exactly — no yucky smell. It just stuck to the bottom of the pan to the point that I didn’t have enough left for the recipe.

  2. Margaret said,

    May 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    If you hadn’t told us we would have thought you had made a simple rice pudding. You aren’t going to make it again? On my list.

    • gaaarp said,

      May 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      I will make it again, this time as an actual tart. I was just debating whether to make it again before posting.

  3. Renee said,

    May 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I’m not sure you can put this completely in the fail category because as a the true master cook you are you pulled it out in the end and on one was the wiser! I’m making this tart tomorrow and I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it no matter how it turns out. And, wow, Nick’s description above sounds great too! Book me a trip to Thailand!

    • gaaarp said,

      May 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement. I love Kheer and any other kind of rice pudding, so there was no way I was letting this go to waste. I thought about making more rice and adding it to let it soak up more liquid, but it was great the way we ate it.

  4. May 10, 2011 at 7:04 am

    You scorched the rice???!!??!?!!? Don’t ask me how many times I’ve done that too… Anyway, it was a good save and closer to the way the mango/rice combo is eaten in Thailand anyway. The mango season is right now and everyone in Thailand is enjoying this as often as possible. Typically it served on a plate with the rice on one side, a sliced and fanned-out mango half opposite it. The mango is napped with a sweetened coconut cream sauce. A sprinkle of untoasted sesame seeds completes it.

    • gaaarp said,

      May 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      Sounds great. If I ever make it to Thailand, it should definitely be during mango season.

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