You wouldn’t think rice plays a significant role in the Scandinavian countries. We’re more likely to boil a pot of potatoes if we want a starch. But, somehow rice has made its way into the Scandinavian Christmas feast as a key ingredient in two traditional rice desserts: rice porridge (risengrød/risgrynsgröt) and rice cream (risalamande/ris ala malta).

Rice porridge is essentially just milk and rice served with butter and cinnamon sugar. In many homes this dish is served for lunch on Christmas Eve for the tradition “find the almond”. It’s also very common that people eat it throughout December for dinner or lunch.

Rice cream is the creamier version of the porridge, just with whipped cream, sugar, almonds, and vanilla added. You can usually cook both at the same time — or rather, just cook extra porridge so you have enough for the rice cream.

The rice cream takes a bit more effort. It’s traditionally served with a cherry sauce, but can be served with any berry-based sauce. Rice cream is the most common dessert on Christmas eve in Sweden and Denmark. It’s also served in Norway, but they often serve mulberry cream instead, which is much different.

Follow our recipes to get these two rice desserts on your table this Christmas.

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