Danish Rice Pudding

Danish rice pudding with cream (risalamande)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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There are few desserts more famous in Denmark than risalamande, the creamy rice pudding Danes eat every festive season. Risalamande is a traditional dessert served after Christmas dinner on the 24th of December. You can add your own toppings and fruits to mix things up.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 6 cups of whole milk
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of blanched almonds (chopped)
  • 1 whole almond
  • 1.5 cups of cream
  • 1-2 vanilla beans
  • 16 oz of cherries
  • 3 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn-starch
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • ¼ cup of water

Directions

  1. Add your rice, milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt to a pot and heat the mixture until you see small bubbles forming around the edges. Stir occasionally.
  2. When bubbles form, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for about 1 hour, until the rice is soft. Remove the rice from the heat and add your chopped almonds.
  3. Add your whipping cream and gently stir in the seeds from a whole vanilla bean (or two).
  4. Make your cherry sauce by mixing 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of corn-starch. Simmer your cherries, a quarter cup of water and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a pot until the cherries soften. Once the cherries are warm, add your corn-starch and water mixture
  5. Simmer the mixture until thickened and remove the cherries from the heat.
  6. Pour your cherry sauce on top of your creamy rice pudding to serve.

Note: For a truly traditional Danish Christmas, add a single whole almond to one of your bowls of rice pudding. The Danes do this every year in the festive season. According to legend, the person who finds the full almond in their pudding will either fall in love or get married the next year.

Background: Origins of risalamande

Risalamande is mostly served during the Christmas season, though you can occasionally find families cooking this treat at other times during the year. When serving risalamande most Danes will play the almond game to determine who will be the next person in the family to get married. 

Some families in Denmark prefer to give a prize to the person who finds the almond in their food. This is usually a small novelty gift. 

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