Teurgoule: rice pudding à la Normande

MyFrenchLife™-–-Ronnie-Hess-–-Baked-Teurgoule-MyFrenchLife.org_.jpegAlmost every part of the world has some version of rice pudding. But to my mind, nothing is as good as France’s teurgoule.

The dish comes from Normandy. Although I had traveled through that part of western France plenty of times, I only came across it a few years ago. I was just outside of Rouen, on a food tour organised by some Slow-Food friends, and visiting a retired baking teacher and his wife. Lionel and Marie-France Varin sat me down in their back yard to taste their region’s rice pudding. I became hooked.

While there are many variations on teurgoule, the Varins were purists. They insisted on using only the elemental ingredients – rice, milk, sugar, a pinch of salt and cinnamon – and baking the rice pudding for several hours. No fancy additions of eggs, butter, flavouring or raisins for the Varins. In that, I suspect they would agree with the recipe of the ‘Confrérie des gastronomes de la teurgoule et de la fallue de Normandie’, which regularly sponsors cooking contests. (Fallue is a dry cake, often served alongside teurgoule.)

Teurgoule in Chicago

MyFrenchLife™ – Ronnie Hess – Chef - Teurgoule - MyFrenchLife.org

I never thought that I would find teurgoule outside of France. But about a year ago, on a visit to Chicago, I was surprised to see it on the menu of a popular Michigan Avenue bistro. No surprise that the chef, Stephan Outrequin Quaisser, turned out to be a third-generation restaurateur who was born in Normandy.

Outrequin Quaisser’s ‘Brasserie by LM’ is a family affair. Operated by the chef and his wife Nicole, it is named after their two children Luc and Mary. (Although it’s closed now for renovations, a reopening is slated for 2018.)

Teurgoule: delicious and simple

What do I like about teurgoule? Mostly its superb creaminess, even though you can make it with reduced-fat milk for a lighter version. Beyond that, I love its puffy cinnamon crust. In addition, the recipe is blissfully simple and there’s no chance of overcooking or burning the rice.

Make it for yourself

MyFrenchLife™ – Ronnie Hess – Marie - Teurgoule - MyFrenchLife.org

Here’s the recipe, which can be divided in half.


  • ¾ cup round or arborio-style rice
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 8 cups of whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
  • Wash the rice, then blanch it in a small saucepan for four minutes in rapidly boiling water, using enough to cover the rice.
  • Remove the rice from the heat and strain.
  • Place the rice in a four-quart, oven safe mixing bowl, along with the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the milk.
  • Bake the teurgoule for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F/150°C and bake for five hours.The pudding will develop abrownish crust (from the sugar and cinnamon) and seem slightly runny, but the milk and rice will harden as it cools.
  • Serve at room temperature.

MyFrenchLife™ – Ronnie Hess – Varins - Teurgoule - MyFrenchLife.org

What are some of your favorite rice pudding recipes? Share your recipes in the comments box below.

Image Credits:
1. Teurgoule, via wikimedia commons.
2–4. © Ronnie Hess
Recipe for teurgoule source:
Hess, Ronnie, Eat Smart in France. Ginkgo Press, 2010.

About the Contributor

Ronnie Hess

“I’ve had a long and passionate interest in France and especially French food. An American now based in Madison, WI, I’ve lived and worked in Paris as a reporter for CBS News and in Burgundy as a teacher. I’m the author of Eat Smart in France and Eat Smart in Portugal, both culinary travel guides. See my web page for further information.”

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  1. Katie Wilkinson Sep 14, 2016 at 1:55 AM - Reply

    Oh wow this sounds divine Ronnie! I’ve never heard of, nor have I tasted this before, even during my time living in France! But it’s obviously quite well known especially with you finding it over in the States! I certainly didn’t realise that rice pudding took so much time to perfect! Definately a recipe I would like to try out some time.

    • Ronnie Hess Sep 14, 2016 at 4:26 AM - Reply

      Hi Katie. Glad to hear from you. Let me know how the teurgoule turns out!

  2. Stacey Parron Sep 18, 2016 at 1:06 PM - Reply

    This is very similar to the recipe that has been passed down through many, many generations of my family. I covet my mémé’s teurgoule bowl!

    • Judy MacMahon Nov 22, 2016 at 5:49 PM - Reply

      Bonjour Stacey, here at MyFrenchLife™ magazine we’ve received many emails and messages to say they’ve tried this recipe and they LOVE it 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to say hi – always appreciated – Judy

  3. Jane Russell Sep 9, 2017 at 2:20 AM - Reply

    I’m definitely certifiable …have to use up all sorts of milk, preparing for Windy Weather! So I found this recipe. Looks great

    • Ronnie Hess Sep 9, 2017 at 4:03 AM - Reply

      One of the best things about winter! But try it before then.

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