Happy December 19th. My mom is taking over the blog to share her recipe and tips for the best Danish risalamande:
It isn’t Christmas in Denmark without risalamande! I’ve used this recipe for risalamande for many years now. It makes a creamy risalamande with just the right flavor of vanilla and almonds.
This risalamande isn’t very sweet, not at all like the overly-sweet variants that are often served. In our opinion, this is how risalamande should taste—with added sweetness from the cherry sauce. A perfect combination. Sweet enough for the flavors of cream, vanilla and almonds to shine through. For Christmas Eve’s risalamande, I happily fork out for a thick pod of Polynesian vanilla, which is a pleasure to use in itself and gives a wonderful taste, but a cheaper variety can, of course, be used now that they say the price of vanilla is higher than the price of silver!
In this recipe, the rice pudding is made with risotto rice, but you can use pudding rice instead. When the rice is cooked well and the pot has heated through, I put it in a “haybox.” Lay a large towel on a bed and line it with a layer of newspapers, put the pot on the middle and wrap newspapers and the towel tightly around it, cover well with a duvet and leave the pot to take care of itself (see the recipe). I make the rice pudding the day before and, as you can see in the recipe, it’s finished with sugar and almonds, making it is super-easy to prepare on the day, Christmas Eve, because all you have to do it add the whipped cream into the cold pudding.
I always make a large portion of rice pudding, so there’s some leftover for an extra bowlful on Christmas Day. But I make sure that the dish with the whole almond isn’t too large, as our appetite tends to modest after the duck of the main course, and you have to eat the entire bowl—or, at least, until the almond is found! In fact, we’re often so full, we wait to eat the risalamande until later in the evening, so we can really enjoy it.
And finally, our advice for the cherry sauce: We always make the cherry sauce from whole, preserved cherries, and we eat it warm. Happy Holidays, and enjoy.
Danish Risalamande (serves 6)
140 g risotto rice (Arborio) (or pudding rice – short-grained white rice)
1 liter water
1 tsp. salt
1 vanilla pod
200 ml cream
100 g almonds
50 g sugar
For the risalamande
500 ml cream
Put the rice, water, salt and the 200 ml cream in a thick-bottomed pot. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the vanilla seeds. Put the vanilla seeds and the split vanilla pod in the pot.
Bring it to a boil and stir well to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Turn down the heat and cook for about 15 min. on a low heat. Now place the pot in a “haybox” (see the explanation in the introduction above) for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, blanch the almonds in boiling water, chop them roughly and set them aside. Remember to keep one whole almond.
Take the pot out of the haybox (be careful—it’ll be hot!) And check the rice pudding. If it’s still a little thin, boil it while stirring and allow it to boil a little more. When the consistency is right, take the pot off the heat and stir in the sugar and chopped almonds. Pour the pudding into a deep dish immediately (leave the vanilla pod in it to cool). Cover the surface of the rice pudding with cling film and put it in the refrigerator until the following day (or until it is completely cold, at least 5 hours).
How to make Danish risalamande
Whisk 500 ml cream until light and softly-whipped. Stir the cold rice pudding again and remove the vanilla pod—make sure to scrape it clean, to get all the vanilla seeds. Fold half of the whipped cream into the pudding to make it soft. Then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream and pour the risalamande into a nice bowl(s).
Add the whole almond and put the risalamanden in the refrigerator.
Take the risalamande out of the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before serving so it’s not ice cold. Serve with warm cherry sauce. Enjoy!