With foodies talking of little but Nordic cuisine, its time to take a masterclass from Denmarks queen of cooking.
Rice pudding with warm cherry sauce (Serves 6)
4 litres organic whole milk
2 vanilla pods
250g short grain pudding rice
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
150g blanched almonds
200ml double cream
700g pitted cherries, fresh, frozen or in brine
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
3 tbsp cornflour
This is my favourite pudding for Christmas Eve. When serving it, you also play a
little Christmas game. The rice pudding is served in a large bowl. Just before you
take it to the table, add one whole almond and stir so nobody knows where it is.
Everybody eats until someone finds the almond. You are allowed to cheat and hide
the almond from the others if you find it, because the point of the game is to make
the others keep eating while trying to find the almond. In the end, when a person
can no longer hide that he or she has the almond, the person receives a present.
Make the rice pudding and the cherry sauce the day before serving
gently heat 1.3 litres of the milk in a large saucepan. Slit one of the vanilla pods
lengthways, without cutting it all the way through. Just before the milk starts to boil,
add the rice and the slit vanilla pod. Cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring slowly and
frequently so that it doesn't burn. Remove the pan from the heat and add the salt.
Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the sugar and leave to cool
(or until the next day).
remove the vanilla pod and transfer the rice mixture to a large bowl. Chop the
almonds coarsely except for one, which you save for the game. Whip the cream in a
bowl until it forms soft peaks. Slit the second vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out
the seeds with the tip of a knife. Add them to the rice. Gently fold in the remaining
milk, then fold in one-third of the whipped cream. When the mixture is smooth, fold
in the rest of the whipped cream and the chopped almonds. Taste the pudding: it
should be sweet with a flavour of vanilla. Spoon the pudding into a serving bowl and
hide the almond. Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator.
to make the cherry sauce, put the fruit in a saucepan with the sugar, vanilla pod and
water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Dissolve
the cornflour in enough water to make a thin paste and slowly add it into the cherry
sauce, stirring constantly until it thickens and comes slowly to the boil. Taste and
add some more sugar if necessary but do not make it too sweet because the rice
pudding is very sweet and the cherry sauce should add some acidity to it.
shortly before you are going to serve the rice pudding, reheat the sauce and serve it
on the side in a bowl.
The Scandinavian Kitchen by Camilla Plum. Published by Kyle Cathie, £25 is available from Telegraph books for £23 + £1.25 p&p. Call 0844 871 1515 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk
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