Risengrynsgrøt “rice porridge”was first introduced into Norway in the 1300s, but it was reserved for the elite and wealthy. It was customary to serve it on Christmas Eve as a symbol of status. A few hundred years later, in the 1800s, rice porridge became more available to the working class and it remained a Christmas Eve tradition as well as a Saturday dish.
Over time, any rice porridge leftovers from the Christmas Eve lunch (or even a new batch of rice porridge) was mixed together with sweetened whipped cream to make riskrem or ‘rice cream’. This gorgeous dessert is simple, light, and a great ending to the holiday feast. It’s traditionally served with a vibrant red sauce, sometimes made of fruit cordial ‘saft’ and sometimes with whole berries. I prefer using berries as you get a more pronounced flavor. Some also top with almonds, which add a lovely texture and flavor.
Whipped Norwegian Rice Cream with a Red Berry Sauce (riskrem)
For the Rice Cream:
- 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups (480 ml) cold rice pudding
For the Red Berry Sauce (makes approximately 3/4 cup)
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g) frozen red berries (I use a mix of raspberries and strawberries)
- 2 tablespoons aquavit or water
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon potato starch mixed together with 2 teaspoons cold water (leave out for a thinner sauce)
In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the cold rice pudding into the whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the red sauce, in a small saucepan, bring the berries, sugar and aquavit (or water) to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the fruit has softened and crush gently as you cook to break up the fruit. If you want a seed-free sauce, place the sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds and pulp. Add the potato starch slurry and combine until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly then place in a serving jar. Serve alongside the rice cream or drizzle on top. Feel free to top with almond slices.
The rice cream will last for about 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also prepare the rice pudding in advance before adding the whipped cream.