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In the Kitchen with .. Danish Rice Pudding
updated: Dec 19, 2009, 8:00 AM
By Leah Etling
I'm heading off to New Mexico this weekend to have a green Chile Christmas, but before I left town, there was time to pack in as many Danish holiday traditions as possible.
I didn't make it to Solvang to count Nessemen (Danish Christmas Elves) with Ed, but I did have time to make rice pudding for dessert. This is my all-time favorite dessert, and it's perfect for the holidays. The snow-white, snow-like texture of the pudding and the spirited red raspberry sauce give it a real Santa-like spirit. I bet Roger would really like this one, almost as much as he likes donuts. It has raspberry... how can you go wrong?
(I even tried the rice pudding with some of Santa Barbara Preserves' Raspberry Habanero jelly, and it really spiced it up!)
Here's the recipe, a combination of an Internet version and my grandmother's traditional, only-in-her-head copy.
Danish Rice Pudding
2 cups milk (heat to near boil)
Add ½ cup Arborio rice (the reason for the Arborio is it cooks much faster than regular rice, 20 minutes standing at the stove stirring vs. 2 hours).
While rice is cooking, stir consistently for 20 minutes. Avoid milk sticking or congealing on top of the saucepan.
When rice is soft, transfer to counter and cool for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix 1 packet of unflavored gelatin with ¼ cup water OR sherry. The water should be cold, the sherry room temperature or just warmed on the stove. Then add 1/3 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir until dissolved.
When the rice mixture is cooled, add the gelatin/sugar/vanilla/water (sherry), as well as ¼ cup blanched, slivered AND diced almonds.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Then whip 1 cup heavy whipped cream in a hand or industrial mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the refrigerated rice and almonds until consistent. Top with raspberry sauce.
(My grandmother makes her raspberry sauce with water, sugar and raspberries. You used to be able to buy frozen raspberries with juice that were perfect for this... they don't sell them anymore, so it's better to make your own, ideally with fresh raspberries from your home garden or the farmer's market, if it's not too late in the season.)
I hadn't made rice pudding for several years, but it was so delicious I may just make it in New Mexico... it tastes like my childhood.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out. I had to throw out my first batch of milk/rice because I cooked it too hot... nothing above medium on this one. Skol!
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