Food Blog | Risalamande
Different variations of the Christmas Eve dinner are eaten all over Denmark. Some eat pork, some goose, and others duck, but one thing is certain in every family, and that is the dessert.
Ris á la mande has a fancy French-sounding name means ‘rice with an almond’, but has absolutely nothing to do with France.
It dates back to around 1900 when middle-class families started favouring rice pudding made from imported rice served with cinnamon and cherry sauce, instead of the common rice pudding.
Around the time of the Second World War, due to a scarcity of food, whipped cream was added to make the pudding stretch longer – and voila! A classic was born. It has been the number one Danish Christmas dessert ever since.
One whole almond is put in the middle of the pudding and then the game is on! Whoever gets the almond wins a present. It is always great fun.
The pudding itself is super easy to make, although it needs some prep work the day before, and you must use ‘grødris’ – little round polished rice grains that are especially good for porridge.
I have had many variations: healthy versions with polished barley and substitute cream, or made with brown rice, and cheap versions with vanilla extract and jam. But if you opt for the real deal, Ris á la mande is just about one of the best things about Christmas.
For the rice porridge:
- 3 dl water
- 180 g ‘grødris’(pudding rice), approx 2½ dl
- 1 litre milk
- And the rest:
- 100g blanched peeled almonds
- 2 vanilla pods, use the seed
- 4 tbsp sugar
- ¼ litre of double cream, 38 percent
Use a heavy-based saucepan and bring the water and rice to a boiling point. Boil the rice on a steady heat whilst stirring for about 2 minutes.
Put on a lid and boil for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once in a while. The grains have to be soft, but not too soft.