For the third advent Sunday, we want to share a delicious and traditional treat that is a household name in Iceland. Ris a la mande is inspired by the French dessert riz à l'impératrice.
When rice and almonds became more widely available in Denmark, this dessert became more and more popular.
Although a simpler version is enjoyed all year round in Iceland and Denmark, the Christmas version has vanilla and cream. The cherry on top is the delicious cherry sauce (yep, we went there).
Many enjoy this dessert after the Christmas dinner on the 24th of December, while others enjoy this old tradition for lunch on Christmas day or the day before. A small almond is added to one of the servings, so one family member will receive the almond. The key is to keep the almond hidden in one's mouth until everyone has finished eating. Whoever gets the almond receives a special almond gift - usually a book or board game.
Below you will find Kjartan Gíslason’s version of Ris à l'amande and a delicious balsamic chocolate cherry jam you must try.
Ris à l'amande
200 g Arborio rice
100 g sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half and seeds peeled out
1 l of milk
200 ml cream
300 ml of whipped cream
100 g roasted almond flakes
Start by putting rice in a pot along with sugar, vanilla bean, seeds, and milk. Simmer at low heat until the rice is ready; you want to have them al dente. Add the cream and simmer until they are soft.
Let the rice cool overnight.
Mix the whipped cream, sprinkle almond flakes over the porridge and serve with the jam on top.
Cherry Balsamico chocolate jam
1 kg whole cherries ( you can also substitute this with blueberries) Use fresh or frozen berries without center but not canned cherries.
100 g sugar
5 g pectin
600 g sugar
100 g glucose ( corn syrup)
180 gr Madagascar 66%
100 g Balsamic vinegar
Mix 100 g of sugar with the pectin and mix with the berries in a bowl. Put the mixture in the bowl into a pot and simmer at medium heat. Add the rest of the sugar and the glucose and simmer at low heat for 10-20 minutes or until it thickens.
Take the pot away from the heat and mix in the chocolate along with the balsamic vinegar
Put in jars and cool.