Wednesday, December 25, 2013


As a child I must have heard some rumor about risalamande from my redheaded, Danish-descent grandmother, because I recognized it in a cookbook a few years ago and we've adopted it as one of our Christmas traditions. The almond gets hidden in the pudding, and whoever finds it gets a prize. For some reason we usually use a bar of Toblerone, perhaps as a nod to the European origin of the dessert. 

The cherries give it a wonderfully festive look to serve, and yet it's so simple a recipe it nearly cooks itself. Trying to find the whole nut without crunching it up is also a fun challenge -- we like to try to bluff each other, so that the whole bowl gets emptied and people start to worry that there was no one who got the almond.


4 c. milk
½ tsp. salt
⅓ c. sugar
½ tsp. nutmeg
3 T. rice
almond extract to taste
chopped almonds
cherry pie filling

Stir all ingredients together in a buttered baking dish. (And yes, those proportions are exactly correct!) Bake at 300ยบ for 3 ½ hours, stirring three times during the first hour of baking.  

Before serving, stir in chopped almonds and one whole almond, and then make a well in the pudding and fill it with the cherry pie filling.  Top with sweetened whipped cream if you're inclined.

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