Recipe taken from our book The Scandi Kitchen – available at all good bookshops and online and in our cafe shop.
CREAMED RICE PUDDING WITH WARM CHERRY SAUCE (Ris a l’amandes)
One of the most popular and traditional Christmas desserts, this is a creamy cold pudding,
served at the Christmas meal on 24th December. Include a single whole almond in the rice – the lucky person who finds it should receive a gift, usually a box of fancy chocolates. It’s best to make the rice pudding the day before you assemble the dish but this isn’t essential.
300 ml/21⁄4 cups water
200 g/1 cup pudding rice (short-grained white rice)
1 litre/4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla pod/bean salt
100 g/31⁄2 oz. blanched almonds
50 g/3 tablespoons icing/confectioners’ sugar
300 ml/13⁄4 cups whipping cream
2 x 300–350 g/101⁄2–121⁄2 oz.) cans morello or black cherries in syrup (retain 250 ml/1 cup
cherry syrup from the can)
2 heaped tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch
1 teaspoon orange juice
2–3 tablespoons rum
Add the water and rice to a thick-bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Cut the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the rice (throw in the pod too, for flavour).
Turn the heat down to low and add the milk. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid it burning and sticking to the pan. Turn the heat down to a very low heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally (or until the rice is cooked). Keep an eye on it, because it can burn easily. Once the rice is cooked, remove the rice pudding from the heat and add salt, to taste. Leave to chill, ideally overnight.
To assemble the dish, roughly chop the almonds, apart from one, which should be kept whole. Set aside.
Remove the vanilla pod, add the sugar and chopped almonds and stir. Add a dash of water if the pudding has set too firmly.
In a separate bowl, lightly whip the cream to peaks, then fold into the rice pudding. Add the whole almond and chill until serving.
For the cherry sauce, combine a small amount of the syrup with the cornflour to make a roux, and set aside. In a saucepan, bring the cherries and the rest of the juice to the boil, then add the roux, stirring constantly. Allow to boil for a minute for the cornflour taste to disappear.
Turn the heat to low until you’re ready to serve the sauce so it doesn’t continue to boil. Taste to see if more sugar is required. Season to taste with orange juice and rum to balance the flavours.