One of my favorite desserts of all time is rich and creamy rice pudding. I hadn’t made this pudding before, so when I was asked to make Risalamande for Anna and Vince’s Christmas dinner, I was excited to try this new dessert recipe.
Risalamande (riz à l’amande) is probably the most famous Danish Christmas dessert and is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. The name comes from the French, meaning “rice with almonds.” The base of this dessert is basic rice pudding with added vanilla, whipped cream and crushed almonds. It isn’t overly sweet, and the richness of the silky cherry sauce makes it irresistibly delicious.
When making the dessert in Denmark, it is customary to hide a whole almond somewhere in the pudding as the person who finds it in his or her serving wins a prize. The person who finds the almond keeps it in the corner of the mouth until everyone is finished so that everyone thinks that they might win. The prize is usually a small marzipan pig or chocolate heart.
This dish is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve, but don’t wait until Christmas. Once you’ve tasted this Danish treat, you’ll definitely want to enjoy it year round!
Bring milk, 5 Tablespoons of sugar, salt and rice to a boil in a large pot.
While rice is cooling, in a medium well-chilled bowl (stainless works best) add whipping cream, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and 2 Tablespoons of the sugar.
Add the chopped almonds, the one whole almond and vanilla to the rice mixture and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours (may be made the day before).
Combine the cornstarch with the water and stir until completely combined.
In a medium saucepan, add the reserved cherry liquid, the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar, the cornstarch mixture, and butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.