Rice with apples seems to be a childhood favorite in Poland. Everyone talks about having it at school or as an after-school snack. The school meals in Poland have a great reputation at least according to my anecdotal evidence.
I know school lunches are a concern around the world, and Poland is probably no exception, but my friend’s children who attended Polish schools, and these may have been private Polish schools, always looked forward to the meals. Two little English-American boys referred to the kitchen staff as the “cooker-ladies.” The cooker-ladies made excellent food. I’m sure Rice with Apples was part of the lineup.
The Polish food blog, Dorata Smaku, refers to this recipe as ryż zapiekany z jabłkami i cynamonem. Meaning that it’s a baked version of this dish, Zapiekana isn’t just the well know baguette pizza-like street food. It also means casserole, something baked.
You can also find recipes for Polish rice with apples that are bez pieczenia, without baking, totally done on the stovetop.
To describe the flavor, I’ll remind you that Polish desserts are light on sugar. The apple flavor is the predominant taste. It’s a little like apple pie, a little like an apple crisp, except, in this case, the accompanying starch is milk enriched rice. It makes a nice combination.
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Give it a try. Generations of Polish moms can’t be wrong!
Baked rice with apples and cinnamon – a childhood favorite in Poland!
- 1 cup milk (250ml)
- 1 cup water (250ml)
- 1 cup rice (220g)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 3/4 pounds apples (800g), about 5
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, (100g)
- sour cream or greek yogurt to serve on the side (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
- Bring the milk and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the rice, 1 tablespoon butter, and a pinch of salt. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar. Cover and set aside.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4 inch slices. Now slice across the apple slices making 1/4 inch pieces. Toss the diced apples with 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar.
- Grease a medium casserole dish. Add 1/3 of the rice to the bottom of the dish. Top with half of the apples. Add another layer of rice, top with apples, and the final 1/3 of the rice is the top layer. Pour the heavy cream over the top of the layers and top with 3 tablespoons of thinly sliced butter. Sprinkle lightly with more cinnamon.
- Bale 40 – 45 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of optional sour cream or greek yogurt.
Make sure your casserole dish is deep enough to capture the apple juices that will be boiling away as this bakes. Mine boiled over, so I lost a lot of the nice apple juice. It also made a mess of my oven. Maybe bake it on top of a foil-lined sheet pan just to be safe.
Keywords: Rice with apples