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16

September 2016

September 16, 2016

Rømmegrøt with Homemade Sour Cream

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Summer

Rømmegrøt with Homemade Sour Cream (Norwegian Sour Cream Porridge) Rømmegrøt with Homemade Sour CreamMy visit to Slettastølen Seter introduced me to the Norwegian Seter Life, or mountain farm life. Sonja treated me to a banquet of homemade delights with various cheeses (including her recipe for farm cheese), fruit jams, and her homemade rømmegrøt made from her own sour cream using her cow’s milk.

There’s nothing quite like homemade sour cream. There’s a certain softness to it that is unlike any store-bought sour cream. It’s smooth and not as thick. It’s very enjoyable and it makes for the best rømmegrøt (sour cream porridge) you could ever have.

Sonja’s rømmegrøt is by far the best I have ever tasted and I believe it is because of the quality of her rømme (sour cream). She uses raw milk that she has milked from her dairy cows. The cows graze among the mountain pastures all summer long, making the milk taste even better. She separates the cream from the milk, then adds in her starter of sour cream from a previous batch and lets it sit overnight until it has reached the desired sourness. It’s a simple process and one that Sonja repeats throughout the summer, which sustains her family and guests.

Rømmegrøt is traditionally a summer dish. There are three traditional summer holidays, Sankthans (23 & 24 June), Olsok (29 July) and Barsok (24 August), which are associated with the serving of rømmegrøt. When friends and family once gathered for these summer feasts, rømmegrøt became the highlight of the menu, for it is possible that during this time the milk was at its best as the cows grazed in the abundance of summer’s grass. Also, the summer weather would most certainly cause fresh milk to curdle, making it convenient to make porridge for large groups when they had plenty. Rømmegrøt is also associated with other celebrations and is traditionally served at weddings, confirmations, a birth of a baby and during Christmas.

Rømmegrøt is a simple dish to make at home. And while you may not have your own cows to get fresh, raw milk from, I highly recommend contacting local farmers in your area. The taste of homemade sour cream far surpasses anything store bought and will bring a much more creamy and flavorful addition to any dish.

Rømmegrøt with Homemade Sour CreamRømmegrøt with Homemade Sour CreamRømmegrøt with Homemade Sour CreamRømmegrøt with Homemade Sour CreamRømmegrøt with Homemade Sour Cream
Homemade Rømme / Sour Cream

Ingredients:

  • Raw milk
  • Clean, glass jar

In order to get proper sour cream, you will need to use raw milk. You cannot use pasteurized milk of any kind or it will turn rancid, not sour, and can make you very ill. I suggest contacting local farmers to find out how you can access raw milk.

That being said, homemade sour cream is quite simple. Taking your raw milk, you will see the cream separates naturally from the milk (there will be a slight color change and two layers). The cream rises to the surface, while the milk sits on the bottom.

With a spoon, take the cream off the milk and place it in a clean jar. Don’t worry if you get some milk with the cream, it will naturally separate during the process. Place a lid on top, slightly ajar. Leave to sit out at room temperature for about 24-48 hours. The time it takes to sour depends on the temperature, since cream will sour faster on warmer days. Check the sour cream to make sure it has soured and thickened up a bit – it will not be as thick as store bought sour cream because they add in gelatin and thickeners.

When it has soured, place it in the refrigerator and consume within 4-5 days.

*Once you have made sour cream from raw milk, you can always take about ½ cup of sour cream from your previous batch with 1 quart of raw cream and mix them (shake them) together in a glass jar with a lid on top. Leave the jar to sit out, with the lid on, for 12-24 hours or until the desired sourness is achieved. Then refrigerate.


Sonja’s Rømmegrøt

(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre (4 cups) rømme / sour cream (35% fat content)
  • 3 1/2 – 4 dl (1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups) flour
  • 1 litre (4 cups) milk
  • salt

Over medium heat cook the sour cream and stir continuously, around 15 minutes. Add half of the flour and stir vigorously until well blended. Allow the mixture to come to a slow simmer. Butter/fat from the sour cream will begin to appear on top. With a spoon, remove the butter and place in a small bowl to be used later when the rømmegrøt is served. When you have removed the butter, add in the rest of the flour and cook a bit longer, stirring vigorously. Slowly add the milk and continue to stir so there are no lumps. Allow it to cook a few minutes longer until smooth and creamy and add in a pinch of salt.

Serve warm and top with cinnamon, sugar and the reserved butter. You can also top with cured meats, such as fenelår.

*For those outside of Norway, finding a sour cream with a high enough percentage of fat can be quite difficult, and they also tend to be full of gelatin and thickeners. That is why I have included a recipe for homemade sour cream using raw milk. If this is not an option, it is possible to make sour cream using heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized) and buttermilk. You can also add butter to the sour cream while you are making rømmegrøt since low fat sour cream will not yield the natural fat which I have described above in the directions. There are many alternatives out there, but just remember to have a high enough fat content to get that perfect Norwegian bowl of sour cream goodness.


Rømmegrøt with Homemade Sour Cream

Nevada Berg

Nevada is a utah native and norwegian by heart. When not crafting culinary delights she enjoys her family time and tending to her animals. You most certainly can find her perusing her property for wild berries.

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  1. […] jam, rhubarb jam, whole milk, butter, and fenelår, all of which she has made. And finally, the rømmegrøt is placed on the table, smooth and creamy. A seter feast. A triumphant meal highlighting some of […]

  2. Viil says:

    Hi Nevada,
    As someone who grew up in Numedal, Norway, but have spent most of my adult life living abroad, I occasionally make rømmegrøt as a treat. Whenever using store bought sourecream from outside Norway I have found that it tends to be processed differently from Norwegian sourecream and you have to modify the recipe a little. Where Norwegian sourecream will produce a layer of “butter” when heated, this does not happen to sourecream produced in e.g. North America or Central Europe. Instead I have found that you actually have to add butter to the sourecream in order to get the consistency and flavor of Norwegian rømmegrøt. Whiteout this extra ingredient the dish will unfortunately taste of flour.

    • nevada says:

      Hi Viil! I often hear how sour cream outside of Norway just isn’t the same. And it’s true because even store-bought Norwegian sour cream has a much higher fat content than other places (around 35% fat). Your suggestion of adding butter to the sour cream is a great alternative for those who live outside of Norway and who can’t access raw milk to make their own. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Having a neighbor making sour cream from raw milk it is a must for me to try this recipe! Looks delicious!

  4. Patricia Simon says:

    Oh my goodness! This is like reading a little window of my childhood in Ostrander!

  5. Clara says:

    I have visited Norway several times since 2014 and I absolutely love the sour cream porridge. Then a friend introduced me to a mushroom stew made with Romme, bacon, onion, garlic, Buljong and Champignon mushrooms. I have been searching and searching where I can find Romme and Buljong. Not sure if I have enough confidence to make my own but it is nice to come across recipes like these.

    • nevada says:

      I’m also very glad you came across this recipe! When making the stew “gryte” you mention above, you can easily use sour cream from the store (it does not have to contain as much fat as the Norwegian versions do) and either fresh stock or a bouillon cube (buljong = stock) 🙂

  6. Dale says:

    Hello. I am enjoying learning and cooking Norwegian cuisine. I was excited to make this for the longest day of the year. I used all the milk in my mixture but it was quite thick, almost like wallpaper pasted. Is this correct? It felt a bit like eating uncooked bread dough. I had expected it to be more like a thick cream or custard?

    • nevada says:

      Hi Dale. Yes, rømmegrøt can be quite thick and dense. It should still have a smooth consistency, but it will solidify when it begins to cool – similar to polenta. If you find it too thick, feel free to thin it out with a little more milk.

  7. Maison de Marguerite Wishlist – Maison de Marguerite says:

    […] Rømmegrøt with Homemade Sour Cream – Could I ever be so brave as to make my own sour cream?? I LOVE sour cream – so (too?) much so, that I will lick the spoon clean when I dollop it onto my taco or into my tomato soup, etc. I’ve recently discovered Nevada Berg’s blog, North Wild Kitchen, which is all about her time living on a farm in Norway, and I feel like it was made just for me. […]

  8. Markus says:

    Dear Nevada,
    This is sooooo good! Thanks for the recipe
    It reminds me a little bit on a dish we (only in a small area in the Austrian mountains) have once a year on the 24th of December. We are using only milk and flour, some anise seeds and as a topping hot melted butter and honey. It is kind of the sweet and light version of rømmegrøt 🙂

    • nevada says:

      Hi Markus, that dish you are describing sounds really divine. What is it called? I’d love to learn more about it! Thanks, Nevada

      • Markus says:

        Hi Nevada,
        The dish is called “Bachlkoch”. „Koch“ stands for porridge and there are at least three different explanations for the meaning of „Bachl“.

        If you like a have found a recipe: 1 l milk, 80 gr flour, salt, butter, honey, anise seed and I know that my mother is adding 1 or 2 tbsp sugar to taste. Mix the flour with some of the cold milk, salt, anise seed (½ tsp maybe?) until lump free and set aside. In a small pan mix equal amounts butter and honey and heat slowly (you can just keep it on a low heat). Heat up the leftover milk in a pot and just before it starts cooking stir in the cold flour/milk mixture. Cook until its thick and bubbly. Ajust salt and sugar to taste and serve it with the honeybutter on top.
        Bachlkoch burns very easy so you have to constantly stir and watch the heat. When its made perfect there are a few light brown crusts on the bottom which everyone likes.

        Enjoy your Bachlkoch!

  9. Janice Quick says:

    I just returned from Southern Norway and am now, unfortunately, obsessed with the Norwegian version of Sour Cream. The United States is determined to save it’s citizens from ourselves so unless you own a cow, there is no way to get raw milk. My neighbors will really have an issue if I put a cow in my backyard. But I want to!!

  10. Lynn says:

    Nevada, I think rømmegrøt is my favorite treat on earth, and I can’t help but wonder if there is any way to truly recreate your treasure-recipe with American ingredients!
    I’ll try to find the raw milk! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • nevada says:

      Hi Lynn. I love it too! I do have another recipe for homemade sour cream using heavy cream and buttermilk that is in my cookbook. This is a great alternative if raw milk is unavailable. Hope you find everything you need! 🙂

  11. Jan Ferree says:

    So how is sour cream different than yogurt? Seems the process in much the same, and using some as a starter next time. Maybe you set yogurt at a higher temperature to culture? And I use pasteurized milk to make it.

    • nevada says:

      Hi Jan. Here is an explanation I found that sums it up quite well: sour cream is made by adding lactic acid and bacteria to cream and letting it thicken and sour. Yogurt, on the other hand, is made in a similar way to sour cream, only it is made by fermenting milk instead of cream. Also, the fat content in sour cream is higher than in yoghurt. Hope this helps!

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