Risalamande (Danish Rice Pudding)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Are you in a snowy city or like me, having a 30C summer day?😀 Wherever you are, hope you are enjoying your Christmas day or eve, next to your loved ones.

This year I made a very traditional Danish Christmas pudding for the first time, which it actually turned really tasty! I usually cook or bake a recipe twice or three times until I perfect it, but this one is so easy and relatively quick, you can get it right in your first go🙂

denmark

Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, is usually covered with snow during Christmas and it is world famous for celebrating Christmas more extensively than a lot of other cities around the world. Giant papier–mache hearts are hung in the streets, and a tall lit up Christmas tree is set up in the town hall square.

christmas-winther-copenhagen-urbanlife

There, every day in December has a name and tradition following up to the 25th! There is “Braiding Hearts” day on December 5th, when everyone makes paper-mache braided hearts as ornaments for the Christmas tree. There is the new tradition of “Throw the wish list out the window” day on December 12th when kids write their wishes on a piece of paper at night and throw it out the window for the Santa to pickup. These are just two of the 24 traditions!

hearts-8

Danes start cleaning and preparing their house for Christmas weeks in advance. Their houses are decorated top to bottom, with all members of their family contributing to these preparations. On Christmas eve, all family members gather around the meticulously decorated Christmas tree and sing carols and dance in a circle after their dinner.

xmas-tree

The Danish Christmas dinner is just as beautiful as their festivities. Usually the main meals is a roast duck, pork or goose, ending with the very tasty “Ris á la mande”. This dessert has chopped almonds in it, but the person making it, leaves all but one almond unchopped. The almonds are mixed through the pudding, and when it is served, the person who finds the unchopped almond in their dish gets a prize. I love simple traditions like these 🙂

Intrigued yet to make this pudding? 😀 Here is the recipe! Danish Christmas music to listen to as well ❤

Ingredients (Serves 4):

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10-15 fresh cherries
1 cup of arborio rice
1/6 cup + 1.5 tablespoon caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
Juice of 1/4 lemon
150 g oven roasted almonds (roasted ones adds a beautiful flavour to the pudding)
2 cups heavy cream
1L milk (I used skim milk to be healthier, but traditionally they use full fat)
1 teaspoon of corn flour

Part 1- Rice Pudding Recipe (from here):

  1. Put the rice in a pot with 1/2c up water. Bring to boil.
  2. Add the milk, 1.5 tablespoon caster sugar, and vanilla bean (scraped off inside and the skin too) and let the rice come to boil again. Do not put a lid on the pot.
  3. REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT!! KEEP STIRRING THE MIXTURE! Otherwise, it will stick to the bottom of pan.
  4. Gradually the mixture becomes thicker and thicker, as the rice starts absorbing the liquid.
  5. Continue with stirring while simmering for about 35 minutes. Then, pour it into a large enough bowl and set aside to cool.
  6. Once cooled, remove the vanilla bean skin, then add the cream and mix well.

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Part 2- Adding the almonds:

  1. Soak the almonds in hot water (just off boil) for about 5 minutes, then drain them. Now if you push an almond between your two fingers, the skin will come off easily.
  2. Chop all the almonds, except one!! Reserve a handful of them aside for decoration and add the rest to the pudding mixture.
  3. To pour into serving bowls, place the unchopped almond at bottom of the bowl, then add the pudding mixture on top. Next is making the cherry sauce! 😀

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Part 3- Cherry Sauce:

  1. Pit and halve the cherries. Then add them to a nonstick pot with 1/6 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cornflour, juice of 1/4 lemon and 1/4 cup water.
  2. Bring to boil, then simmer for a 1-2 minutes until you can see the liquid has thickened. Be careful not to over boil the mixture or the liquid will evaporate.

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DECORATING AND EATING TIME!

Decorate each pudding bowl with cherry sauce and chopped almonds, or even a mint leaf. Enjoy!~~~~~~~~~

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