CHRISTMAS RICE PUD­DING WITH CHERRY SAUCE

NZ House & Garden - Country Living - - Scandi Design Home-made -

Ris a la mande – cold rice pud­ding with whipped cream, vanilla, al­monds and hot cherry sauce – is the clas­sic Dan­ish Christmas dessert. Tra­di­tion­ally one whole al­mond is hid­den in the dessert bowl and the lucky finder gets an ex­tra present, usu­ally a marzi­pan choco­late or lit­tle marzi­pan pig.

1.2 litres whole milk

1 vanilla bean, split

250g ar­bo­rio rice

2 ta­ble­spoons caster sugar

½ tea­spoon salt

100g blanched al­monds, roughly chopped

(leave 1 whole for the prize)

300g cream

Cherry sauce:

500g pit­ted cher­ries, fresh, frozen

or in juice or syrup

150g caster sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 cup water

2 ta­ble­spoons corn­flour Place milk in a large saucepan with the vanilla bean. Heat to al­most boil­ing then add rice. Cook over gen­tle heat, stir­ring often to pre­vent rice stick­ing and burn­ing, for 30 min­utes or un­til most of the milk has been ab­sorbed. Take off heat, cover and leave to stand 30 min­utes.

Stir in caster sugar and salt. Re­move vanilla bean and scrape seeds back into pot. Fold them into rice mix­ture. Leave to cool com­pletely. (At this stage the pud­ding can be kept chilled for up to 2 days if de­sired.)

On the day of serv­ing, beat cream to soft peaks. Fold about a third through the rice un­til smooth then fold in re­main­der with chopped al­monds. Trans­fer pud­ding to a serv­ing bowl and hide the whole al­mond in the mix­ture. Cover and chill un­til serv­ing.

Sauce: Place cher­ries, sugar, whole vanilla bean and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil then sim­mer 15 min­utes.

Com­bine corn­flour with a lit­tle cold water. Slowly add to cherry mix­ture, stir­ring con­stantly un­til sauce thick­ens. Bring slowly back to the boil then take off heat. (Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and gen­tly re­heated. Add a lit­tle ex­tra liq­uid if nec­es­sary.) Serve hot with the cold rice.

Note: If us­ing pre­served cher­ries, drain them first and re­serve some of the liq­uid to use in place of the 1 cup water. Serves 6- 8

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