Christmas rice pudding

Just popping in with another little snippet of a post to share one more of the recipes from our gløgg feast the other day.  Though it is a traditional Christmas dish, we didn’t grow up having rice pudding at Christmas.  During Christmas Eve day, to stem the tide of complaints about having to wait until after dinner to open presents, my mother would make us a rich, smooth porridge – I believe it was mostly milk, butter, and a little flour and sugar, topped with cinnamon sugar and butter – but not rice pudding.  Some Danish friends of ours had rice pudding, though, and I was always interested in it, particularly because whipped cream was folded into it.  (It’s easy to catch my interest – I am to cream as a magpie is to silver.)

In spite of the cream, when I tried it I discovered I didn’t love it.  I found the nubby texture of the cooked rice off-putting, and preferred smooth puddings and porridges.  (No tapioca for me either, please and thank you.)  But, that was when I was young, and foolish, and over sensitive to textural interest.  Over time I have evolved to love rice pudding.  It is cool, creamy, slightly chewy, and one of the most comforting foods there is.  In addition to being an excellent way to use cooked rice.  So, this year rice pudding is in the lineup – for gløgg parties and Christmas!

Christmas rice pudding 2

Creamy rice pudding
Serves: 6-8
  • ½ cup long grain rice
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried currants
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  1. Combine the rice and water with the pinch of salt in a pot, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a very low simmer, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, ½ cup sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture just barely to a boil (watch carefully so you don't let it boil over), then turn down to low and cook, uncovered, until thick, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and raisins/dried currants. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Chill for 2 hours. Just before serving, whip the heavy cream with the 2 tsp. sugar until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the rice mixture, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve.


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10 Responses to Creamy Christmas rice pudding

  1. Mary B says:

    This sounds close to the ris crem I have made in the past. But I’ve misplaced the recipe. I don’t put the raisins in mine though. I put chopped almonds and one whole almond. The lucky one to get the whole almond gets the prize. A marzipan pig maybe.

  2. I would love to learn more about your glogg parties (sadly, I can’t do that cool o…)! And yes, I feel much the same way about rice pudding. I think it’s a textural thing – when we grow up we become more comfortable with the way different foods feel in our mouths.

  3. Allyson says:

    As a kid I never liked either rice pudding or tapioca. As an adult I still haven’t tried either to find out if it’s still true. My husband loves rice pudding. I might make this so that he can have his rice pudding and I can see if my feelings have changed.

  4. Allie says:

    Looks great, and for some reason even as a kid I *loved* rice pudding, tapioca pudding, etc but disliked puddings without stuff and bits in them, haha. I guess that’s the opposite of most people. I also must say I love your tablecloth in these photos.

  5. Dana says:

    Hi Emily, Do you have a recipe for the red sauce that is sometimes served with riskrem?

    • Emily says:

      I don’t have a recipe per se. If I make it, I just simmer raspberries (usually frozen) with a few spoonfuls of sugar, and maybe a squeeze of lemon, until they’ve broken down, and then strain them to remove the seeds. I generally sweeten it to taste.

      • Dana says:

        oh yea…great idea, I didn’t think of that. I actually found a German market today and bought some bringebærsaft to use, but I will remember that. Thanks!

  6. kk says:

    My stepfather’s family is Danish and we serve this dish every Christmas. As a norwegian I do not feel bad about stealing this fun tradition. Traditionally in his family they hide a whole almond in a big bowl (or bowls) of the pudding, it is tucked in there with a number of almond pieces and of course a few “almond decoys”. The goal is to get the whole almond. The big bowl of rice is passed around till everyone is groaning, the bowl is clean and we try to guess who has cheeked it…..the winner gets the Christmas prize. The rice is al dente, not too sweet with a lot of cream and vanilla. No other spice. The rice dish itself is okay but the real joy is in the child- like antics of my family as we pass the bowl. I think the berries are lingonberries?

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