3/4 c. raw rice
yolk of raw egg, beaten
Boil two teacups of rice half an hour, and season it with a little butter and salt; form the rice round the dish about three or four inches high, rub it over with the yolk of an egg, and set it in the oven to brown. When it is done, turn the hash into the middle of the dish. This makes a very handsome finish to a dish.
Rice prepared in this way, spread over a pie made of cold meat, for the crust, an inch thick, and browned, is nice.
From Mrs. Putnam’s Receipt Book and Young Housekeeper’s Assistant by Elizabeth Putnam, New York, 1860
Comment: The “teacup” is one of those “measurements” that make working with 19th century cookery books such a source of delight, since to think of it otherwise will lead to frustration, headache and depression. Most references give the teacup a modern equivalency of around a half a standard cup, or four ounces, but some say more and some less.
In this case it does not matter a great deal since we trust most cooks know how much rice their particular family or dinner guests are likely to consume, or how much they need to surround the amount of “hash” they plan to prepare. A variant on this form of decorative presentation is to encircle the central preparation with a wall of mashed potatoes, either spooned into place or piped on with a pastry bag.
Mrs. Putnam give no indication at all of how long the rice is supposed to sit in the oven after receiving its egg coating, nor at what temperature. Be advised that the longer it sits there the more it will dry out and become unpleasantly tough, so shorter and hotter is better than longer and cooler.