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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Scandinavian Cooking / Nordic Christmas: Rice pudding and the almond surprise!
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    Nordic Christmas: Rice pudding and the almond surprise!

    stormylee
    Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:33 am
    Forum Host


    In the Nordic countries, rice porridge or rice pudding is both a dinner and a dessert dish. When served warm, it is often sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or served with an 'eye' of butter in the middle; as a cold dessert it is usually mixed with whipped cream and served with fruit. Fruit and berry soups are also classic accompaniments to rice porridge.

    However, rice pudding also has long Christmas traditions in Scandinavia. It is associated with the Christmas season to the extent that is commonly known also as “Christmas porridge” (e.g. julegröt, joulupuuro). It can be had as Christmas lunch; as a light dinner a day or two before Christmas; or as a dessert – one way or another, it will make an appearance over the holiday season!

    A particular tradition associated with rice pudding in the Christmas time is to mix a single almond into the porridge. This stems from the medieval tradition of hiding signs or omens in food to foretell the future. According to tradition, whoever finds the almond in his or her bowl will have good fortune. In Sweden and Finland, popular belief had it that the one who eats the almond will be married the following year (or have a baby, should they already be married!), whereas in Norway, Denmark and Iceland the one who finds it will get a prize, “the almond present”: a marzipan pig or chocolate, for example. The almond may also decide who gets to open their presents first!
    stormylee
    Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:39 am
    Forum Host
    stormylee
    Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:47 am
    Forum Host
    Psst... Wondering what to do with the rest of the almonds now that you've only used one? icon_wink.gif Tag a recipe in the Spain/Portugal forum where they are currently In Love with Almonds!
    whiteedk
    Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:09 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    well in denmark its normal to make the dessert ris-alamande with chopped skinned almonds, whipped cream and sugar stired together with the rice porridge, and then hide 1 skinned almond in the dessert this is served cool.

    on top we serve hot cherry sauce.


    this is served as a dessert on christmas eve after we have had all the duck and roast pig and stuff. some plases they just serve the porridge but i think most families serve ris-alamande
    stormylee
    Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:00 am
    Forum Host
    Oh you definitely dress up rice porridge for Christmas! icon_biggrin.gif I just lumped all versions together under "pudding" in my head - not exactly analytical of me!! icon_lol.gif

    I do make a Christmas version of the plain porridge myself though - with 1 litre of whole milk and 200 ml of heavy cream instead of just regular ol' milk. Simmer, simmer, stir, stir, oooh so good! Mind you, cleaning the pot is always a bit of a nightmare - I wonder if it's even possible to make rice porridge without burning the bottom?? icon_wink.gif
    whiteedk
    Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:10 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    the first trick is to boil about 1 dl of water and put the rice into that and stir before you add the milk, more water if you use more than 1 litre of milk.

    but the most common metode i think is the old fashioned haybox cooking.. though most ppl dont have a haybox anymore icon_wink.gif , but then you just boil the rice and milk for about 10 minutes and wrap it well in a towel or an old newspaper and put it in your bed with blankets or a duvet cover(we usually use thick down duvet covers in denmark, not blankets in our bed) around it. then it has to stand for about 2 hours(or the whole day. thats fine to) and then its ready icon_smile.gif

    and the chance for it to burn is really minimized
    stormylee
    Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:48 am
    Forum Host
    Everyone says the water thing shoud help and for me it bloody doesn't!! icon_lol.gif I suppose the problem is the heat source: milk will burn easily if it's on direct heat anyway, so the old-fashioned way probably is the way to avoid that burnt bottom!

    Betcha anything my cats would find a way to tip over the pot as they snuggle onto to the nice warmth eminating from the carefully covered porridge pot... Ah, the joys of cooking with pets! icon_biggrin.gif
    CookieWeasel
    Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:02 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    We've had a big bowl of delicious riskrem at our Norwegian Julebord for the past three years. This year there were three almonds hidden in it, each one earning the finder a marzipan pig. My little pet was terribly intrigued by the marzipan pig and made repeated attempts to bite it and carry it away. I finally had to put it on top of the fridge!
    stormylee
    Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:27 am
    Forum Host
    CookieWeasel wrote:
    We've had a big bowl of delicious riskrem at our Norwegian Julebord for the past three years. This year there were three almonds hidden in it, each one earning the finder a marzipan pig. My little pet was terribly intrigued by the marzipan pig and made repeated attempts to bite it and carry it away. I finally had to put it on top of the fridge!


    Who wouldn't want to sink their teeth into a yummy marzipan pig?? icon_lol.gif Is it still hiding on top of the fridge?
    CookieWeasel
    Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:13 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Still on top of the fridge! The only safe spot in the house! Next year I plan to make a gingerbread house and use the piggie as a "yard" decoration. Only problem: Where do I put the gingerbread house? icon_rolleyes.gif
    stormylee
    Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:19 am
    Forum Host
    CookieWeasel wrote:
    Still on top of the fridge! The only safe spot in the house! Next year I plan to make a gingerbread house and use the piggie as a "yard" decoration. Only problem: Where do I put the gingerbread house? icon_rolleyes.gif


    On top of the fridge? icon_wink.gif I know your pain - all of our Christmas decorations are very carefully chosen and strategically positioned in order to keep them more or less out of the reach of the cats. icon_lol.gif
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