When I was a kid, dessert on a Sunday afternoon didn't get any better than Pineapple Rice Surprise... for more than a few birthdays my two cousins and I would happily opt to have PRS instead of a cake.
And so highly prized were the glace cherries that decorated the top, that when we got our portion with our cherry on it, the cherry would come off, be licked clean of meringue and then placed on out coaster so it could be "kept safe" by turning our glass upside down and placing it over the cherry until we had finished eating, so nobody else could steal it. Not that I ever remember anyone actually stealing anybody else's cherry...
I'm guessing that the recipe came off the back of a packet of Calrose Rice... but I honestly don't know.
And for the record, I know this isn't an everyday kind of thing... hell, it's not even a "sometimes" food... it's very definitely a "special occasion" food (of course, the only special occasion I have today is christening my new casserole dish after the untimely death of the old one)... but it tastes so damn good...
Pineapple Rice Surprise
2/3 cup Calrose Rice (medium grain rice)
1 cup boiling water
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
2 eggs (separated)
450g can of pineapple pieces (drained)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Glace cherries for decoration
Pour boiling water over rice in medium saucepan. Stand for 10 mins, then drain off the water.
Add milk to the pan, cover and place on low heat. Stir occasionally until rice is tender and mixture has thickened (about 35 mins).
Remove from heat, add sugar, margarine and beaten egg yolks. Stir over heat for 1 minute. Remove and add vanilla. Pour into casserole dish and allow to cool.
Spoon most of the pineapple over the rice mixture. Beat the egg whites until they become stiff, add sugar, then beat until meringue is stiff and glossy. Spread over pineapple, then use fork to create peaks in the meringue.
Decorate with reserved pineapple and cherries into flower design. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
Cook in moderate oven (180ºC) for 15 minutes until meringue is golden brown.