Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ris A La Mande (Norwegian Rice Pudding)

I get many requests for my mother's Norwegian rice pudding, or Christmas rice pudding. Even people who don't like rice pudding, love this.  Thanks to the new Copenhagen Pastry for printing their recipe in the LA Weekly.

image via: Savory Chicks

(It strikes me as odd that this recipe seems to be Danish not Norwegian, but this may be because my grandmother, Tove, was Danish and many of the traditions we have in our family come from her. -- MsW)

Danish rice pudding (Ris a La Mande) with cherry sauce
From: Copenhagen Pastry
Note: Traditionally this dessert is served on Christmas Eve. The hostess adds the whole almond to the pudding before serving. Each guest serves themselves, and whoever finds the almond gets a marzipan pig as a prize. (Find another prize if you don't have a marzipan pig.) Make the pudding the day before.

8 tablespoons Arborio or sweet Japanese rice
4 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean (split, with seeds scraped out)
1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped*
1 whole blanched almond
2 1/4 cups whipped cream
1. Simmer the milk in a large pot, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
2. Add the rice and vanilla bean (save the seeds for later), simmer for about 45 minutes until the rice is tender, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
3. Remove the mixture from the heat. Add the sugar, almonds and vanilla seeds.
4. Refrigerate overnight, removing the vanilla bean.
5. The next day, stir the rice mixture to eliminate any lumps. Fold in the whipped cream. (The hostess should add the single whole almond.)
6. Serve cold in a big bowl, allowing guests to serve themselves.
*do not buy blanched almonds, buy raw almonds and put them in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes and you can pop the skin right off with your fingers; the flavor is much better.

Cherry sauce:
2 cups frozen cherries
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan, add the frozen cherries and the water. Heat on low until thawed, then add sugar an dstirr. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce to thicken it. (This step can be omitted if you want a more natural and thinner sauce.)
3. Serve warm, allowing the guests to add to the pudding themselves.

A YouTube video here shows you how to make the rice pudding.

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