I have had this rice pudding every Christmas since I can remember. My dad served a Latter Day Saint mission to Denmark 40 years ago. (Oh daddy-o......that make you sound really old!) For almost 3 years he lived among the Danish people and I think he loved every minute of it. (Ok my dad just read this post and has corrected me. He was in Denmark for 30 months and he has nightmares to this day that he is being sent back. So maybe he didn't love every minute.) Since that day, Danish traditions and food have been a part of our lives. I have to admit this dessert is my favorite.
I had to add these. The three photos are of my dad on his mission in Denmark. I have tons of them and my kids and I love looking at them. They're a treasure to have. I love technology!
When I was in 9th grade I had a group project in World Geography where we had to do a report on a country. We picked Denmark (Of course. My dad had all sorts of pictures of Denmark, and I quickly became an expert on anything Danish.) We also made this rice pudding as our food from the country. There is something with 14 year old children and the texture of rice pudding. Anyway, nobody ate much and I remember sitting in the locker hall after school with spoons in hand with one friend Jenny B. and we ate the entire bowl.
The tradition that goes along with this dessert is also very fun. In Denmark they serve this dessert at Christmas time. A whole almond is put in the pudding and the person who get's the almond in their pudding has lots of good luck for the coming year. My mom always bought a huge Hersey's bar and the person who got the almond in their pudding won the candy bar. We have eaten this rice pudding on Christmas Eve with a big roast beast dinner, but it is just as lovely for Christmas morning breakfast. The rice pudding is served cold with homemade raspberry jam or cherry pie filling on top. It's wonderful!
My mom used to make the first part of the rice pudding without the whipped cream a lot during the winter on week nights. The recipe is just the basis for a baked custard type warm rice pudding. It is really good with raisins stirred in and then sprinkled with cinnamon before baking. If you don't stir the rice mixture while it is baking a custard forms on the top and a warm rice pudding is in the middle. We would eat it hot with cold milk poured over the top.
Danish Ris Ala Mande
1 c. uncooked rice cooked according to directions
4-5 c. milk
1 c. sugar
Place all the ingredients in a large pot and whisk until combined. Bake in a 375' F. oven for about 1 hour. I stir the rice pudding with a whisk every 20 mins. or so, so the custard gets mixed in with the rice. Take out of the oven when the rice has absorbed most of the milk. Cool completely. Whip 2-3 cups of cream and sweeten to taste. You can add vanilla extract or a little almond extract. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled rice mixture. Serve cold with a small dollop of raspberry jam or cherry pie filling. Don't forget to add the whole almond for luck.