Cold rice pudding with warm cherry sauce

Cold rice pudding with warm cherry sauce

By
From
Scandinavian Comfort Food
Serves
8
Photographer
Columbus Leth

I have many rituals over Christmas – as lots of us have, I guess – and hygge is a big part of these. Apart from being the ultimate pudding and a Christmas classic in most households in Denmark, this rice pudding, or risalamande, is also like a wrap-up thing for me. I love – late on 24th December, when Christmas Eve is over and everybody is in bed or has gone home – to get up, light a few candles, cuddle up in the sofa and treat myself to a big portion of rice pudding. I just sit and enjoy this moment of bliss. When we serve the rice pudding, we play a game. A whole almond is hidden in the pudding, and whoever finds it in their bowl receives a present: the “almond gift”. You should try to hide the almond if you get it – to keep the suspense going – until the whole bowl has been eaten… but that can be a daunting task!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 vanilla pods
300ml water
300g short-grain pudding rice
1.6 litres whole milk
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
150g blanched almonds
500ml double cream

For the cherry sauce

Quantity Ingredient
700g pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
150g caster sugar, to taste
1 vanilla pod
500ml water
3 tablespoons cornflour

Method

  1. Split one of the vanilla pods (beans) in half lengthways, without cutting all the way through. Bring the water to the boil in a large, heavy-based pan, then add the rice and let it boil for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the milk and the split vanilla pod, stirring until it returns to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 15–20 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t catch, until the rice is just cooked (just beyond al dente but not over-cooked). Remove from the heat and add the salt. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes, then stir in the sugar and leave until cold, or overnight.
  2. Remove the vanilla pod and transfer the cold rice mixture to a serving bowl. Set aside 1 whole almond, which must be saved for the game! Roughly chop the rest. Split the second vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife and add the seeds to the rice pudding. Whip the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks. Fold onethird of the cream into the rice to loosen, then fold in the rest and add the chopped almonds. Taste the pudding: it should be sweet with a flavour of vanilla. Push the whole almond down into the pudding so it is well hidden.
  3. For the cherry sauce, mix the cherries, sugar, vanilla pod and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Dust the cornflour (cornstarch) into 2 Tbsp water in a cup and stir. Slowly add the cornflour paste to the cherries, stirring constantly, until they thicken, and season to taste with more sugar, if you want.
  4. Serve the cold rice pudding with the hot cherry sauce.
Tags:
Scandinavian
Danish
Swedish
comfort food
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