Budini di Riso

These delicious rice pudding tarts, known as ‘Budini di Riso’ are a traditional Tuscan pastry and are usually eaten for breakfast. (Budini is plural, you may see them named Budino di Riso).   They can be found in most bars, (and by ‘bar’ I mean ‘cafe’) in Tuscany and are very popular with children.  My son Joseph was a very fussy eater when he was in kindergarten and primary school, and if he didn’t want breakfast at home, he would always happily have a ‘budino di riso’ before starting school. 

To make these, you need to make the pastry, cook the rice, and make a custard.  You can decide to do all this on one day, or make the pastry and cook the rice the day before, completing the recipe the day after.  I find doing this recipe over two days makes it much easier and less stressful.  It’s also a bit quicker because otherwise you have to wait for both the custard and rice to cool down before baking these tarts.  I have written the recipe for making custard from scratch, but nothing stops you from making your favourite custard with a convenient custard powder, and using that custard in this recipe.  While you can use any white sticky rice, some Italian recipes call for ‘riso originario’ which is a starchy white rice, with the grain being small and rounded.  This rice is often used for desserts, puddings and sushi. Others call for Arborio rice.  I used Arborio rice and the result resembled the Budini di Riso I know from Tuscany.

Budini di Riso


  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g butter, cold & cut into cubes
  • 1 egg and 2 egg yolks
  • 85g caster sugar
  • pinch salt


  • 150g Arborio rice
  • 700ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 50g butter


  • 570ml milk
  • 55ml cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 2 level tsp cornflour
  1. Start by making the pastry.  In a food processor, add the flour, butter, egg, egg yolks, sugar and salt and mix until a dough forms. Tip onto a lightly floured board and knead gently.  Make into a flattened disc, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Roll out, line tart cases, trim all excess pastry and place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill and bake your budini di riso.
  2. Cook the rice by adding all ingredients to a heavy based saucepan or frying pan. Cook on a low heat allowing milk to lightly simmer.  Stir frequently until rice is cooked and milk has been absorbed. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool completely. (At this stage you can refrigerate the rice overnight and continue recipe the next morning).
  3. Make the custard.  Bring the milk and cream to simmer slowly over a low heat.
  4. Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl until well blended.
  5. Pour the hot milk and cream on to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time with a balloon whisk.
  6. Return to the pan, and over a low heat gently stir until thickened.  (While I usually add vanilla extract to my custard, I haven’t added it here, because I added the vanilla bean to the rice).
  7. Wait until custard cools, and then add to rice. You should try and have equal amounts of rice to custard…. My rice was cold as it had sat overnight in the fridge, so I used the paddle on my KitchenAid to combine the rice and custard together.
  8. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  9. Remove tart cases from refrigerator, and fill each one with rice mixture.  You can fill them to the top, while they may swell a little during cooking, they will not spill over.
  10. Bake for 45-50minutes until tops are slightly golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool and dust with icing sugar prior to serving.  Budini di Riso may be eaten warm, but in Italy, they are usually eaten cold at breakfast time.



  • 300g farina ’00’
  • 150g burro, freddo da frigo
  • 1 uova + 2 tuorli
  • 85g zucchero a velo
  • pizzico sale


  • 150g riso arborio
  • 700ml latte intero
  • 100g zucchero semolato
  • pizzico sale
  • i semi di un baccello di vaniglia
  • scorza di 1 limone
  • 50g burro


  • 570ml latte
  • 55ml panna
  • 4 tuorli
  • 30g zucchero semolato
  • 2 cucchiaini farina di mais
  1. Per la frolla, impastate la farina, il burro, l’ uovo e 2 tuorli, lo zucchero a velo, è un pizzico di sale. Fate riposare il panetto in frigo avvolto nella pellicola per un’ora. Stendete il panetto di pasta frolla a circa 3-4 mm di spessore; ritagliatevi con un tagliapasta i dischi e adagiateli in uno stampo da muffin multiplo, o nei stampi per tartine. Fate riposare i stampi in frigo finchè non siete pronti per infornare i budini di riso.
  2. Per il riso, scaldate in una casseruola il latte con lo zucchero semolato, un pizzico di sale, i semi di un baccello di vaniglia, e la scorza grattugiata di un limone. Unite il riso e lessatelo per circa 20’, mescolandolo spesso. (finchè il riso non è cotto e il latte non e assorbito).  Spegnete, mantecate con il burro e fate raffreddare.
  3. Per la crema pasticcera, portare il latte e la panna a sobbollire lentamente a fuoco basso.
    Sbattere i tuorli, lo zucchero e farina di mais in una ciotola fino a ben amalgamati.
    Versare il latte caldo e panna su le uova e lo zucchero, mescolando tutto il tempo con una frusta.
    Riportate il composto sulla fiamma e cuocete mescolando delicatamente per 1-2 minuti, ottenendo una crema pasticcera. Lasciatela raffreddare. (Mentre io di solito aggiungo l’estratto di vaniglia alla mia crema pasticcera, non ho aggiunto qui, perché ho aggiunto il baccello di vaniglia nel riso).
  4. Attendere che la crema si raffredda, e poi aggiungere il riso, mescolando bene.
  5. Riempite con il ripieno i stampi con la frolla e infornate a 180 °C per circa 45-50 minuti.  Sformate i budini, lasciateli intiepidire e serviteli spolverizzati con zucchero a velo.

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