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What Is Teurgoule?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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Teurgoule is a French dessert made primarily from rice and heavy cream or whole milk, and is flavored with sugar and cinnamon. A low temperature and long baking time give the dish its signature caramelized topping and rich, spicy flavor. It is a traditional dish in the cuisine of Normandy, a region in Northern France and is similar to the rice puddings of other cuisines. Other commonly accepted names for the dessert include torgoule, terrinée, and bourre-guele.

White, short-grain rice is often the preferred type of rice for the dessert because its mild taste blends with the other ingredients without altering the intended flavor of the dish. Since the dish is meant to be thick and creamy, it is generally recommended to use heavy cream or whole milk as the liquid of choice. Milk with a lower fat content may produce a thinner texture and a less rich taste. Cinnamon is the traditional flavoring agent of choice to give teurgoule its distinctive spicy flavor, but nutmeg is also a common spice addition. If a person wants to counteract the spiciness of the dish, sweet ingredients like vanilla extract or sugar may also be used.

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Teurgoule is typically made by combining uncooked white rice with cream, cinnamon, and any other desired spices or sweeteners. The ratio of rice to liquid may vary depending on the preferred texture, but a common ratio is roughly seven parts liquid to one part rice. It is generally recommended to use a higher ratio of liquid to rice so that the rice does not dry out during the long baking process.

The type of baking dish that is traditionally recommended for preparing teurgoule is known as a terrine pot. A terrine pot is a deep rectangular or oval dish that is usually made from earthenware, a type of ceramic pottery. When the terrine pot is baked, it is thought by some people to impart a distinctive flavor to the finished food dishes that are baked in it.

The baking time for teurgoule may vary widely depending on the recipe. Traditional recipes for the dessert often call for an initial shorter baking time at a higher temperature, such as one hour at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190.5 degrees Celsius) in order to caramelize the top of the dessert. The temperature may be reduced, such as to 215 degrees Fahrenheit (101.6 degrees Celsius) and baked for approximately five hours to gently bake the rice allow it to absorb the liquid. Once the dessert is baked to the preferred consistency, it is generally allowed to rest until it reduces to room temperature before serving.

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