I have a very vivd memory of the first time I ate one of these diminutive pastries. It was a sunny morning in early May and we were having breakfast in the dining room of our very tony hotel. A few years prior we had walked by this spot and went into the lobby and soaked up the ambience. It was all I could do to pry myself off the plush cream colored sofa and head back to our not so wonderful albergo. Then and there we vowed to return and on our next trip to Italy, we did just that-saved our pennies and checked into this swanky place on the river.
The breakfast buffet sent my head spinning. So many choices and every single thing looked scrumptious. Then I spied a platter of tiny pastries and I was drawn to the oval ones dusted in powdered sugar. One bite and I was in love. What were these little delights? We stayed for three nights and each morning I placed one of these pasticcini on my plate and savored every bite.
It really was quite some time later that I discovered that my dream pastry was actually known as a budino di riso. No, this is not rice pudding, but a really buttery pastry with a creamy rice filling. This typical Tuscan sweet is usually baked in an oval molds. I unfortunately didn’t have any oval molds so did mine in mini-muffin pans. I have to thank Eleonora over at Aglio Olio E Peperoncino for blogging about this treat and I am sending you over to her site for the recipe. I’m happy I know how to make these and I just may have to look for oval molds next time I’m in Italy. As for staying at that hotel again, well, probably only if there’s that winning lottery ticket!