Re-think rice pudding with our recipe for risengrød, a traditional Danish treat. Risengrød literally means ‘rice porridge’, which gives you a clue as to when this dish is usually served. Whereas rice puddings are regarded as desserts in countries such as the UK, risengrød has been a well-loved breakfast and dinner across Denmark for hundreds of years, especially during winter.
Today rice is a readily available store-cupboard staple, but in Danish society it was a rare commodity until the late nineteenth century. As a result, cooking with rice was largely reserved for special occasions, in particular the Christmas period. The association between hearty, satisfying bowls of risengrød and an upbeat, celebratory mood endures to this day. When you prepare Danish rice pudding for your loved ones, you’re sure to bring them comfort and joy.
As you’d expect from a dish that’s often eaten either at the start of the day or as an evening meal, risengrød is less reliant on sugar as an ingredient than rice puddings that are made as desserts. During the cooking process, just a tiny amount of vanilla sugar is added in order to give the risengrød a delicious, delicate flavour. Granulated sugar goes into the topping, but not too much. So a bowl of risengrød will satisfy your sweet tooth without being sickly.
Thanks to the combination of short-grain white rice (plump, shiny, roundish grains that are sometimes sold simply as pudding rice) and whole milk, risengrød makes a substantial, filling meal with a wonderfully soft, creamy texture. A knob of butter adds extra creaminess to each bowl.
While the rice needs to be stirred frequently to prevent it going into clumps or getting burned on the bottom of the cooking pot, there’s no risk of a charred ‘skin’ forming on top. That means your risengrød is likely to look more appetising when you take it off the hob than many oven-cooked versions of rice pudding.
If you’ve previously made rice puddings by following British recipes, you may well have used nutmeg. The spice of choice for Danish rice pudding, cinnamon, is similarly warming and aromatic but has a punchier flavour – it’ll certainly wake you up if eaten in the morning! Cinnamon contains cell-protecting antioxidants and supports smooth digestion, too.
There can be few tastier ways to celebrate Bodum’s Danish heritage than with a generous helping of creamy, cinnamon-topped risengrød. That’s why this recipe is one of our favourites.