Risalamande, also known as ris a la mande, is a traditional Danish rice pudding dessert usually served on Christmas Eve. In French, it means “rice with almond”. Unlike other rice desserts, it has crunchy crushed almonds mixed through that you can bite with every scoop. It is creamy, nutty and not too sweet. The pop of color from the red cherry sauce on the white vanilla bean-speckled pudding makes it all the more festive! Enjoy the risalamande over the dinner table chats with a glass of mulled wine.
Tips on Making a Traditional Risalamande
In Danish Christmas tradition, the cook leaves one piece of whole almond in the pudding. When it’s time for Christmas Eve dessert, everyone digs in and eats ‘til they reach the bottom of their pudding cup. Whoever gets the almond wins an extra gift! Bring home the signature taste of this traditional Danish dessert with our easy Risalamande recipe. We listed down these valuable tips for making this delectable Danish pudding:
- If you can’t find pudding rice, you can use starchy short-grain rice like Arborio rice or Carnaroli for this Danish pudding recipe. These starchy rice grains make the creamiest rice pudding.
- Cook the pudding on low heat. This is to ensure that the milk will be absorbed by the rice grains instead of evaporating as it cooks.
- If the rice pudding dries up before it’s done, simply add a splash of milk into the pan and mix it.
- You may even toast the nuts! It makes a huge difference to this almond dessert. Toasting them will release their aroma, enhance their nutty flavor, and make them more crispy.
- Use store-bought cherry sauce, but if you’re up to it, you can also try making your own jar of cherry sauce at home.
How To Make Risalamande
Risalamande is a Danish Christmas dessert with crushed blanched almonds mixed into a creamy rice pudding. It’s served chilled with a warm decadent cherry sauce on top.
Add the rice and water to a saucepan and let it boil for 2 minutes.
Pour in the milk. Constantly stir the pot until the mixture boils.
Slice the vanilla beans in half, and scrape off the seeds. Stir in the extracted seeds to the pudding mixture along with sugar.
Turn the heat down to low and let the pudding mixture simmer for around 35 minutes under a lid. Regularly stir the pudding to prevent the rice from burning at the bottom of the saucepan.
Let the pudding cool in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight before the next steps.
The almonds have to be blanched before being added to the pudding. To do this, soak the almonds in hot water for 5 to 7 minutes. One at a time, take the almonds out of the water and peel them by pressing each nut in between two fingers. Repeat until all almonds are peeled.
Coarsely chop the almonds. Take the pudding out of the fridge and stir in the chopped almonds.
In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks are formed. Gently mix the whipped cream into the chilled rice pudding.
Serve chilled with warm cherry sauce, and enjoy!
Commonly Asked Questions
Can you freeze Danish rice pudding?
Yes. But although rice pudding freezes well, Risalamande is best eaten the day it is made. If you have a small amount of leftovers, it is best to keep them in a sealed container in the fridge and consume within three days. If you’re planning to make a big batch, we recommend freezing plain rice pudding. You can keep them in the fridge for up to three months. When ready to use, just allow them to thaw and soften in the fridge, and add flavors just before serving.
What type of rice is pudding rice?
This is really just short-grain rice sold under the name “pudding rice.” Packaged pudding rice is more popular in the UK. But for dessert rice recipes like our risalamande, you can definitely use Arborio rice or Carnaroli rice, whichever is available in your area. Sushi rice is also short grain and starchy but it tends to become mushy, so we don’t recommend it.
Savor the holidays with our own take on the traditional risalamande. The rich and creamy white rice with whipped cream, almonds, and warm cherry sauce will surely bring warmth and life to your cold dinner nights.
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