Gluten Free Pastel de Arroz, Molds with a History and a Nomination

As I have told you many times before, I grew up in a pastry shop and I am not exaggerating one bit when I say it was the most wonderful way to grow up. It really was. We lived about 50 meters across the street from the shop and my grandparents lived just above it. Often times, we would go out on the balcony and could have an entire conversation with my amama Miren who spent time observing the street out her window. And she liked to chat, a lot.

I describe those smells often as they are engraved in my head. Milk simmering, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, lemon peel, the smell of butter being rolled into puff pastry everyday. It really was an idyllic childhood.

Pastel de arroz was always my favorite tart. Crispy and flaky puff pastry encasing a wonderful baked custard that smelled of cinnamon, vanilla and lemon peel. On Sundays, they would make suspiros which were the pastel the arroz topped with a dome of air-like chiboust slightly caramelized. Need I say more. I am not sure where the name pastel de arroz (rice tart) came from as this recipe contains no rice at all. I will have to look into that, but this is one of the most traditional tarts in the Basque Country. So simple.

Last time my parents visited, my mom brought for me these old tart molds that belonged to my grandfather. They must be at least 50 years old and I think they are one of my most treasured belongings. They really show their usage as the inside still feels slightly greased. So much history.

On another note, I wanted to share with you that Saveur Magazine has nominated Cannelle Et Vanille for “Best Food Photography” in a blog in their first ever Food Blog Awards. I am so honored to be nominated amongst such great people. You can vote and view the rest of categories and nominees here.

The traditional recipe uses puff pastry, but I baked the tarts in a gluten free pie dough. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Pate Brisee

makes 8 3″x1″ tart molds

85 grams sweet rice flour
35 grams quinoa flour
30 grams amaranth flour
25 grams tapioca starch
20 grams sugar
3 grams salt
2 grams xanthan gum
115 grams butter, cold and cut into small dice
60-80 grams ice cold water

Place the flours, sugar, salt and xanthan gum in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to air ingredients. Add the cold diced butter and pulse about 10 times. Add the ice cold water and pulse until flours are wet but do not over mix it (it doesn’t have to form a ball). Start with 60 gram of water and add more if needed.

Transfer dough into your work surface and press it together. Wrap it in plastic wrap and flatten it into a disk. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Roll the pastry with a rolling pin to about 1/8-1/16″ thickness. Use some of the flours so the dough doesn’t stick to your work surface. You can also roll it between two sheets of parchment paper. Must work quickly.

Cut circles of dough and fill the tart molds. Cut the top edges. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. In the meantime, make the custard and let it cool completely.

Pastel de Arroz Custard

250 ml whole milk
60 grams butter
Zest of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean
60 grams cornstarch
55 grams sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Place milk, butter, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat off and let it steep for 10 min.

Whisk the sugar and cornstarch into a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk them until a smooth paste forms. Temper the warm liquid into the egg base while whisking. Strain this custard through a sieve and let it col completely before filling the tarts.

Preheat the oven to 425F for about 15 minutes before using. Have your rack positioned in the lower middle part of the oven.

Fill the tart molds with the cooled custard (about 3/4 full). Bake the tarts at 425F for about 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown and crust completely baked. It will puff up slightly and then sink in the middle.

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112 Responses to “Gluten Free Pastel de Arroz, Molds with a History and a Nomination”

  1. Yummm~ I so remember these smells growing up!

  2. We are totally voting for you and could not think of a more deserving site to win the award!!
    ~kristin and chris ann

  3. Nicole says:

    Looks amazing! And I love, love, love strawberries. Wishing I had this as a mid-morning snack right now…

  4. lyndsay says:

    hi aran!! i voted for you a few days ago on the saveur site, just because i know your site and how beautiful it is…

    i love so much that you grew up in a pastry shop… so dreamy and lovely.

    all the best, good luck at saveur!!


  5. Congrats on the nomination Aran—you definitely deserve it! And what a beautiful story about your childhood. Those tart molds are priceless!

  6. m says:

    I can only imagine the wonder of growing up in a pastry shop! And that combination of lemon and cinnamon sounds amazing! I love tarts.

    Congrats on getting nominated! I will definitely check it out. :]

  7. I’ve just discovered your site – the styling / photography is amazingly beautiful!

  8. Coco says:

    so beautiful! I love those old tart molds, what a treasure! Congrats again on your nomination!

  9. What a lovely childhood. No wonder you are such a fabulous pastry chef. I would definitely vote for you if I could, but I’m in the Netherlands and it won’t allow me too! Sorry.

  10. Breenuh says:

    Ooo, this sounds similar to some custard tarts I had in Portugal, which were amazing! I can’t wait to try this recipe :.) Thanks for posting!

  11. Victoria- I know, my family back home wanted to vote but they couldn’t register. I was a bit disappointed actually. But thank you anyway.

    Breenuh- yes, pastels de nata. I worked outside of Lisbon a few summers ago and I ate these everyday. There was a great place in sintra and another famous one in Belem.

    Thank you everyone for your votes and words!!!

  12. I think that it would have been everybody’s dream to grow up in a pastry shop!
    Congratulations on the nomination.. and thanks for the great recipe.

  13. Maky says:

    Congratulations! I’m an Italian girl and i live in Florece. I follow you for a long time, do you know that you are my teacher? I’m sorry for my bad English, thanks for your wonderful recipes.

  14. Eva says:

    Hola Aran,
    Ya he votado por ti. Que ilusion! Tambien me ha gustado mucho tu ultimo post. Una amiga y yo estamos intentando cambiar la ley en Hollywood que prohibe tener gallinas en casas particulares. Ella tiena 15 gallinas de estrangis en el jardin y yo quiero tener solo dos. Bueno, ya te contare. Ademas he encontrado un gallinero monisimo que se llame “Eglu”. Bueno, corto que me estoy enrollando mucho. Un beso muy fuerte! Eva.

  15. Kaixo Aran, zorionak, zure argazkiak izugarriak dira! Galdera bat, orrialde batean irakurri dut platerrak eta antzekoak Bilboko denda txiki batean erosten dituzula, esan ahal didazu zein dendatan? Mila esker, Ainhoa

  16. Leesa says:


    J’ai voté pour vous, aussi!! Vos photos sont toujours belles et exquis!!

    Merci beacoup!!

  17. Grace says:

    These look fabulous Aran, I will definitely be making them this week. My niece’s bridal shower is coming up and I think these would look wonderful displayed on a 3 tier cookie stand on the tables, the fruit would be a nice pop of colour, what do you think? Congrats on Saveur, I placed my vote yesterday!

  18. whisk-kid says:

    Congratulations on the nomination!

    Those molds are awesome. I love the way food ties family together :D

  19. Kimberley says:

    Those old tart molds are just beautiful. Congrats on the nomination!

  20. Asha @ FSK says:

    You grw up in bakery??!!! Oh lucky you!!! :))

    Congratulations on the nomination!!! and on inheriting the lovely molds :)

  21. Congratulations on the nomination!
    Your photography are just beautifull!!! I wish you win it, you deserve!!!

  22. Those little tarts are wonderful! I bet they taste as good as they look. Wow, I would have loved to grow in a bakery…



  23. Erin Swing says:

    Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Isn’t gluten free baking a new journey of discovery? I would love to try this with some of my gluten free puff pastry (hojaldre) that I am formulating. Just started my hojaldre work yesterday. So far, so good. Ironically, I am an American, living in Spain, working on understanding gluten free formulation. I am at Alicia Fundacio outside of Barcelona in the center of Catalanya. I do have a Basque roommate; he’s the best cook in the house ;)

  24. Ainhoa- badakizu Gran Via-ko Pasteleria Arrese non dauen? ba Gran Viagaz perpendikularrean doan kale txiki horretan dau. La Vajilla-ren aurrean. ferreteri txikitxu bat da eta ez dot izena gogoratzen baina gauza txiki asko aurkitu dodaz hor. oso “random” baina begiratu. Merezi dau. La Vajilla be oso ondo dau baina gero eta genero gitxiago dekie. Beste pare bat be badagoz Bilbon baina ez dodaz izenak gogoratzen. Amari galdetuko dotzet.

    Grace- I think that would be lovely!

    Erin- small world. how wonderful. please share the GF puff pastry recipe when you are done. I’d love to try it!

    Thank you!

  25. Eva- que casi se me olvida contestarte. Pero que tienes gallinas? No me digas. Buenisimo. Oye, a ver cuando te ponen huevos eh? A ver si conseguis que cambien las leyes! Besos-

  26. Barbara says:

    Aran how wonderful to have inherited your grandfathers tart molds.

    I have not heard of a rice tart before but they sound delicious.
    Congratulations on your nomination. It is well deserved. Your photos are delightful.

  27. What a wonderful thing to have in your possession! I love those little pans. Great memories for you.

    I voted. You have to win. You are definitely the best of the best.

  28. zebulon says:

    Yummy recipe and great story!
    I like the beautiful photos you post each time as much as the pictures your stories put in my head.

    And yes, lucky you having a childhood like that :)

  29. NicoleK says:

    Congratulations on a much-deserved nomination! Your site is beautiful.

  30. idu says:

    Zorionak Aran! Guk ezin bozkatu, baina badakizu gure bozka duzula. Ainhoari erantzun diozunarekin, ni ere banoa denda horretara, ea zer topatzen dudan.

  31. Idu eta Ainhoa- botoa emoteko zuen emaila sartu, herrie ipini eta “State” ipinten dauen lekuen “Not Applicable” aukeratu. Herrialdea “United States” itzi eta gero zuen posta kodigoa ipini. Nire familikoek holan egin dabe eta onartu dau. Botto guztiek eskertzen dire!!!

  32. pity says:

    felicidades por la nominacion, estoy segura de que vas a ganar, todo mi apoyo desde londres! estos pastelitos voy a tener que probar a hacerlos muy pronto, me muero de ganas! besitos

  33. Chanel11 says:

    An extremely well deserved nomination, your photography is truly inspiring.
    I’ve bookmarked these as they sound absolutely heart warming and delicious.

  34. prerna says:

    OMG! I’m totally voting for you. Not that I’m saying anything negetive about the recipes but I really follow your blog beacuse of the awesome pictures that you take..they never fail to make me drool..
    You deserve the award! Good luck.

  35. Anis says:

    hi Aran I really enjoy when you share your family recipe and childhood stories so inspiring
    congratulations C&V you rock!
    by the way tested your spanish tortilla pure blissss!
    and i love this board lol

  36. Congratulations on the nomination-well deserved.


  37. giao says:

    your childhood in the pastry shop sounds magical. it’s obvious that magic has grown up with you and we all get to see it come to life here. those molds belonging to your grandfather…wow – so priceless. congrats on the nomination, aran!

  38. Amy says:

    Your photographs are beautiful! And your recipes look wonderful as well :)!

  39. Congratulations on your nomination! Growing up in a pastry shop is truly the best!

  40. aprongirl11968 says:

    Your blog is absolutely gorgeous – you are so talented.

  41. Aran,
    That is AWESOME!!! I voted for you. Love the pictures and all of your recipes. I am a retired pastry chef, I still do a little every now and again. When I look at your blog I so miss it!!!


  42. what a nice post..the photos are magnificent..

  43. Anonymous says:

    Ohh no me deja registrarme!! (creo que solo puedes si es USA)…bueno pero que sepas que yo te voto mentalemen desde aqui y mucha suerte. antes de leer el post ya me ha gustado la foto de los moldes….que cosas tan simples y con cuanto cariño las guardamos no?.
    Que te voy a decir…esta es otra receta de las mias!!

    bso Carmen zh

  44. Dajda says:

    Congratulations on the nomination! I’m going there straight away and vote for you!

    And thanks for the recipe, it looks tempting.

  45. Inés says:

    Nik bozkatu dut!. Aran ze aipamen sentibera egin diozu pasteleriari…Zein ederra neska!!!
    Zu familiako izanda, nahiz guk kanpokoak denek daramagu burmuin barruan bertoko usaina.Eta beti esaten genuen “ze enbidia pasteleria barruan bizitzeak…”…hori zen niretzat luxuy-a.Domeketako paga guztia bertan gastatu nahi izaten nuen. Nire nebak karameleretara joaten zinen sobre-sorpresak erostera baina nik opiltzoa eta txokolatina fina Netsleduna nuen gogokoa.Badut istorio polit bat zure izeko Begogaz baina ez dut luzatu nahi (beno hau ez ba da Larrako Eleizaren epistola baino luzegoa…) Arroz pastela arroz irinaz egiten zelako omen da (omen). Aran milesker halakoak gogora ekartzeagatik. Pasatuko dut helbidea lagunek bozkatu dezaketen

  46. Trissa says:

    Congratulations Aran! Your photos are inspiring! And the pastel de arroz sounds amazing. I have never heard of it before but am wishing I discovered it sooner.

  47. ainara says:

    Zein post polite Aran! Irakurteak Bakioko pasteleriko uzainak ekarri dauz honarte :) Nik botua emon dotzut, ez dot problemarik izan. Mosu handi bat, a.

  48. Heather says:

    Just voted for you. What beautiful work you do.

  49. Ines- ba ez nekien holan zanik! eskerrik asko!

    ainara- zelako usainak ezta?

    thanks everyone for your support!

  50. anahi says:

    Hola, la verdad me encanta tu trabajo y tus historias, soy de Argentina. mi blog es “Lugar de buen comer y buen vivir” y si llegas a verlo me encantria que me comentes que te parece. Saludos, Anahi.

  51. Congratulations on your nomination! I am so happy for you! Your photography is beautiful and inspires me to be more creative with mine. Good luck – I’m rooting for you!

  52. Deeba PAB says:

    Voted for you Aran, and so thrilled to see you there! I love the rustic old feel about those molds, gorgeous. The memories and the connect make them priceless!

  53. Milesker Arana, La Vajilla ezagutzen dut baina ez naiz inoiz sartu esaten duzun dendan.
    Zuk esan duzun moduan saiatuko naiz botoa ematen!

  54. Katie says:

    These little tarts sound delicious. Love the individual tart tins too – how nice that they have been passed down and still being used. Your childhood sounds idillic

  55. These tarts look so lovely. Homemade desserts make me excited, and fresh strawberries always make my mouth water.

  56. Jenious says:

    Congratulations on your well-deserved nomination! What lovely memories these are, with tart molds to match.

  57. Jelli Bean says:

    Just curious, but why are these called pasteles de arroz when they don’t have any rice in them? This is confusing.

  58. Jelli Bean- i asked myself that same question but then i found out that they used to use rice flour in the custard so that’s why. next time, i will use rice flour instead of cornstarch!

  59. beautiful Aran, i haven’t visited any blogs in weeks. nice to come back….particularly to this. next time i make tarts i am going to use your dough :) the problem is that i’ve scoured the grocery stores for these types of ingredients and they have everything except rice flour, quinoa flour, amaranth flour and xanthan gum. oh that’s right…..they have nothing except tapioca flour. brazilians don’t seem to bake….much less gluten free baking. aiai. will keep trying.

  60. Oi, adoro teu blog , tudo muito lindo como sempre,eu também tenho um blog sobre artesanato em geral, com várias receitas,beijokas

  61. I could totally relate to this post Aran as I grew up with all the gorgeousness of baking all around me too. All the members of my mother’s side of the family were German bakers, and it is a childhood I wouldn’t swap for anything in the world! The smells, the tastes, that special feeling knowing your mother has baked that you can’t wait to taste.

    Thanks for sharing, and gorgeous photos as always!

  62. ranu. says:

    Just voted for you, I love your blog and your photography truly is breathtaking!

  63. Junglefrog says:

    Congratulations on your nomination!! a well deserved one too I might add. I love your blog and your photography is just the best.

  64. Clau says:

    Me encanta tu blog! Cada vez que leo alguna resena tuya me dan muchisimas ganas de volver al Pais Vasco. Te leo desde hace mucho pero no me atrevia a comentar. Felicidades!!


  65. Congrat on nomination. Already voted for you.

  66. Anne says:

    Oh wow, those look absolutely divine! They remind me of the Portuguese Pasteis de Nada. I’ll have to try this recipe, oh, exciting!!!

    And, by the way, how lucky are you with the weather?! I see it’s really warm and sunny in your pictures, enjoy it! It’s freeeezing in London!!

  67. jen says:

    beautiful! those tart molds are such a treasure!

  68. you’re photos are beautiful, very peaceful

  69. Adrienne says:

    Your photos are so inspiring!

  70. What a gorgeous blog! And this looks absolutely delicious. My two-year-old is newly enamored of strawberries. I’ll have to try this.

  71. ibb says:

    Aran, zelako oparia ekarri dizun amak bizitan…nire amamaren etxetik ezin ezer atera, danak dauz hor begira…baina zeozer eraman nahi nuke nik…usaiak eta lekuak gogoratzeko.
    Zorionak nominazioagatik…lan izugarriak saritu beharra dago!

    Nik Goyako usaia dut gogoan, igandetan amarekin mantekadak jatera eramaten zigun ondo portatu eskero.

    Bilbotik pasatzerakun behituko ditut denda horiek…

  72. Jolette says:

    What beautiful photographs! And how romantic to have grown up in a pastry shop … like something from a Joanne Harris novel. :-)

    Congratulations on your nomination!

  73. veron says:

    I have such a weakness for tarts, these make my knees weak. These are gorgeous, Aran! And your grandfather’s molds have so much history in its looks I can just imagine the amazing pastries that turned out from them. And now, you are continuing the tradition!

  74. your photography is absolutely exquisite!

  75. What a wonderful childhood and congratulations on your nomination! Your blog is truly one that sets that bar high for other food bloggers. I wish you all the best.

  76. Francesca says:

    My first visit here and I’m enchanted. I love how you weaved your memories, the aromas, the stunning photos into your story. Congratulations on the nomination, I’m in Italy and I can’t vote.

  77. “Pastel de arroz” is a portuguese name for a cake that is very different of this. It is made with rice flour, and traditional it as a paper on the bottom with is name. Is a cilindrical cake and the mould is different too.
    This name for this cake is not appropriate.

  78. Ana Marques Pereira- pastel de arroz is a very traditional tart inthe basque country that sells in all pastry shops. It might be a sifferent thing in Portugal but that doesn’t mean I can’t call this pastel de arroz.

    Thank you all!

  79. the pictures look as gorgeous as ever! i could live purely on strawberries in the summer… :) this looks scrumptious. i wish you could send the nice weather you’re having over to sydney for my last few days! i cant post as much as i “have to” eat all the delicious food around! :) so much deliciousness, so little time…

  80. Stunning photos……..this pastel sounds yum!

  81. shend says:

    These look delicious but I have to stay away from them because of the xanthan gum. You mentioned you might be gluten intolerant. Possibly celiac? I have known for ages to stay away from guar gums and xanthan gum because of being on the ER4YT diet. I hope you don’t mind me posting a link here to one article on the subject for those who are interested in not complicating their diets and their recovery. 710/1/Could-Xanthan-Gum-Sensitivity-be-Complicating-your-Celiac-Disease-Recovery/Page1.html

  82. shend- i know i’m not celiac but being tested for gluten intolerance again. different test. i didn’t know about xanthan gum. i know many celiacs who use it all the time w/o complications. but thanks for the link.

    thank you!

  83. cindy* says:

    chatty ladies are my favorite sort ;)

    the tarts look amazing and the molds…so special! i love handed down treasures.

    congrats on your saveur nomination…one of my very favorite food mags for sure! i’m off to vote aran asap!

  84. I really love your blog and the images… have a nice weekend!

  85. stacy says:

    I think you’ll win- your blog is so gorgeous and you work so hard on it. Crossing my fingers :) )and voting of course…

  86. Congratulations on your nomination! You deserve it! Good luck!

  87. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  88. Marianne says:

    Oh my goodness another blog that I adore! AMAZING photographs.
    Check out

    to support farmers and producers of fine food! YEY!

  89. That little girl is a gem:) A little Fairy:)♥

  90. Aimée says:

    Congrats, Aran!! I voted for you. =)

  91. I adore your blog. You take such wonderful pictures and make such mouth watering treats. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your photographs.

  92. Ainhoa says:

    Zorionak Aran!!! Nik eman dot botoa. Santa Barbaran bizi nazela jarri dot eta horrela inskribatu naz. Noiz bein trampa txikiren bat egitea ez dago txarto, ez? Beste gauza bat, bidali ahal doztazu Arroz pastelaren errezeta tradizionala? Mila esker denagatik.

  93. your blog is gorgeous! congratulations on the photo nomination!! I have recently started blogging, and am wondering how you got the page links at the top of your site? I have been learning to alter the html on my blog, but have not been able to figure that out. I see that you still have a blogspot account, and most of the other blogs that have this layout have a .com. can you point me in the right direction? also, wondering how you got the pictures so large, do you resize them on a photo hosting site and then upload them outside of the blogspot format? thank you so much for the help if you are able to find the time to direct me to it!! Tagan

  94. Ainhoa- bardine da baina masa hau erabili beharrean, hojaldrea erabili. Eta barruko kreman maizna erabili beharrean, urun normala erabili. Eskerrik asko botoagaitik!

    Tagan- I had a web designer do all that for me as I have no knowledge of html code.

    Thanks all!

  95. jm says:

    Greetings from Seattle
    I just voted for you on Saveur and I’m crossing my fingers. You deserve to win! I love visiting you’re blog and I always feel inspired after. Your blog photos always make me happy and it brightens a normally dreary day here in the Northwest. Thank you! JM

  96. cutlex says:

    You deserve a vote! You have followers because you have a great blog and a beautiful inspiring passion.

  97. Ainhoa says:

    Aupa Aran, hojaldrea laban egin behar dot Krema bota baino lehen edo biak batera egiten dira?
    Eskerrik asko

  98. Ainhoa- biak batera. hojaldrea moldean ipini eta frigorifikora sartu barriro gogortu arte (ordu bi edo). gero atara, kremagaz bete (krema hotz egon behar da) eta laban egosi. Esan zelan urten jatzun bai?

  99. Alexandra says:

    I would love to make this for my friend but I have no idea where to buy these sorts of ingredients. I’m living in Asturias in the North of Spain, is there a website I can buy from?

  100. Alexandra- ah pues estas cerquita de donde soy yo, de Bilbao. Has mirado en internet si existe alguna tienda que venda productos especializados para celiacos? Es que ahora no conozco mucho los proveedores espanoles pero seguro que tiene que haber.

    thank you!

  101. estibaliz says:

    Hola Aran! Enhorabuena por tu blogg, me parece increible porque llegué a él a través de una venezolana residente en Canadá y resulta que eres de Bilbao como yo!!ja..ja..

    Me encantan tus post y especialmente tus fotos. Eres una artista!!

    Un abrazo desde Bilbao. Agur..

  102. Estibaliz- en realidad soy de Amorebieta. Llevo 11 annos en EEUU pero vy a casa a menudo. Mis padres estan aqui ahora asi que estoy siempre con los mios. Eskerrik asko!

  103. Molly says:

    Ohhhh, just gorgeous, every last one of these. And a hearty, well-deserved congratulations!

  104. Marijo says:

    Hola, no sé cómo he llegado hasta aquí, pero me ha encantado conocer tu blog. Las fotos son preciosas. Uno de mis pasteles favoritos es la carolina, también me gustan mucho los pasteles de arroz, así que me he llevado una grata sorpresa viendo tu receta. Me ha encantado ver esos moldes que te han entregado, llenos de historia, conservalos con cariño.
    Saludos de una de Bilbao

  105. I VOTED FOR YOU ! I love your blog,the recipes,the photos, the way you write…you take me right into the kitchen or the moment with your blog,thank you for sharing. And I can’t wait to try this recipe for the tarts.

  106. izero says:

    The muffin/donut like looks very tasty, especially when you do a lemon zap to it. Its too much sugar I think. Too unhealthy?

  107. Maitane says:

    Me encanta tu blog,tus fotos son increibles!!
    Sabes?soy de Santurtzi y me ha sido imposible conseguir la receta de pastel de arroz,cuando la vi en tu blog ,no me lo creia! Hasta q me di cuenta de que eras vasca…
    Bueno,mi enhorabuena por tu blog!

  108. Tif says:

    omgosh!! this reminds me of the asian custard tarts called “dan tat” they originated for the portuguese “pastel de nata”!! you’res look beautiful as usual, i still need to prefect my crust :)

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