So this month we have the pleasure of being featured in Sussex Life magazine, with Bex’s recipe for Danish rice pudding!
This fabulous dessert is traditionally eaten all over Denmark on Christmas Eve, and a peeled almond is often hidden in the serving bowl. Whoever finds the almond wins a prize, although if you have won, don’t reveal it until the whole dish has been finished!
The rice pudding can be made the day before you need it, which takes the pressure off slightly. The cooked rice is not too sugary either, with the sweetness coming from the luscious cherry sauce. Bex always has to make double quantities as her son Wolf likes to eat vast quantities of it while it is still hot, dusted liberally with cinnamon, sugar and finished with a knob of melting salted butter; eaten like this, it is known as risengrod, and is pretty much the epitome of hyggelig comfort puddings.
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the rice pudding
1 cup of pudding rice
4 cups of milk
1 ¼ cups of water
1 heaped tbsp white sugar
2 cups of double cream
1 tbsp flaked almonds
For the sauce
1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen cherries
3 tbsp of sugar
½ cup of water
5 drops of good quality vanilla essence
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with ¼ cup of water
To make the rice pudding, place the pudding rice, water, milk and sugar in a large, heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Once it is bubbling nicely, turn the heat down and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring constantly. As the pudding becomes thicker you will need to pay it almost constant attention to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom; I find a wooden spatula better for this purpose than a spoon as it ensures you don’t miss any stray grains of rice lurking on the bottom. Once the rice is tender, taste to check it is sweet enough for your liking, adding a little more sugar if necessary. Set aside to cool (overnight is fine).
Whip the cream into soft peaks, and stir one third through the rice pudding to loosen it. Fold through the remaining cream and pile the pudding into a large serving bowl. Poke the almond in and make sure it’s well-hidden then sprinkle with flaked almonds.
To make the warm cherry sauce, place the water, sugar and cherries in a saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix the cornflour with the ¼ cup of cold water to make a smooth paste and pour into the pan. Stir constantly until the fruit thickens into a glossy, silky sauce and serve warm alongside the rice pudding.