Riskrem (Rice Pudding) is a traditional Norwegian Christmas dessert, made from leftover rice porridge (recipe in this link) and whipped cream, with some sugar and vanilla added. Topped with a red berry or fruit sauce, it is fluffy and creamy with a little tang from the sauce. This dessert should not be confused with the rice pudding often found in grocery stores in the U.S., which tends to be overly sweet, the rice not as tender, and sometimes cinnamon added. Cinnamon has no place in Norwegian riskrem! My recipe delivers fluffy, creamy, and pleasantly sweet vanilla flavored riskrem, the rice kernels cooked until completely tender.
If you do try this recipe, I would really appreciate a quick comment with a star rating (option found immediately under each recipe). It helps me out tremendously! Thanks in advance!
How to Make Riskrem / Norwegian Rice Pudding
The first part in making this delicious dessert is to mix together a little bit of whole milk and 4 cups of leftover rice porridge, which should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Dilute with 1/2 cup whole milk, as rice porridge thickens as it sits. A rubber spatula makes it easier to mix together.
Next, prepare the whipped cream. Use well chilled heavy whipping cream, 2 cups in all, with 6 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla-sugar added.
You may be able to find vanilla sugar at certain super markets or specialty stores, perhaps in international sections. Otherwise, Amazon carries it as well; Just click this link to find it. If you are unable to find any you may also use vanilla extract, although it will cause your rice pudding to be slightly discolored. Using vanilla sugar will ensure a bright white rice pudding. The following picture was taken at an international store where I found some:
Using the wire attachment if your mixer comes with one, whip the cream until very fluffy and stiff peaks form. Be careful not to beat it to butter though!
Add the whipped cream to the rice and gently fold it in until blended together. Don’t over mix it; you’ll want the pudding to stay nice and fluffy. As you can see, the whipped cream is rather stiff, which makes for a thicker but fluffier pudding in the end.
The pudding is now mixed together and is very creamy, soft, and fluffy. Immediately place in the refrigerator until ready to serve, and store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Red Topping Sauce
The Norwegian tradition is to top the rice pudding with a red fruit or berry sauce, served on the side. I typically make the topping sauce before the pudding itself, as the sauce needs to chill for several hours. The riskrem is very quick to put together.
The sauce consists of only red juice and corn starch as thickening agent, so it is quite simple to make. Since the sauce will be added to the top of the rice pudding, the color is important. For the prettiest result I try to look for a red juice that leans toward pinks rather than the ones that have a slight brown tint to them. When you see the sauce against the white pudding, those differences do come through even if the juices look similar on the shelf at the store. I went hunting the other day, to find something to recommend:
Of concentrates (Old Orchard brand), which are nice to use as you can decide how strong to make the juice, these are the ones I tried:
The middle one, Apple Raspberry (which I thought would be the winner), surprised me by having a bit of that brown tint that I don’t like. Cherry Pomegranate to the left, and Cranberry Blend to the right, however, looked much better. I ended up preferring Cranberry Blend as I can’t quite accept cherry flavored sauce on my rice pudding. It just doesn’t do for the Norwegian in me (and since I’m all Norwegian, that’s a pretty big part!) The only thing about the cranberry blend was that it was a bit tart, so I added 1/3 c sugar to it when making the sauce. 1 can plus 2 c water was just right to get the perfect blend otherwise.
Of already mixed juices, these are the ones I chose to bring home to compare to the rest:
The true Berry Punch color does not come through very well in this picture, unfortunately. It looks pretty close to the color around the name “Berry Punch”, a pretty plum pink. This color works well in my opinion, to the contrary of Welch’s juice, which looks more orange.
How to Make the Topping Sauce
Mix together juice concentrate and water to a somewhat strong tasting juice for best flavor, or use regular pre-mixed juice. Measure up 3 cups, pour into a pot, and add 10 teaspoons corn starch (or potato starch). Mix well with a wire whisk until completely smooth. Also add a little sugar if the juice is tart, like cranberry blends can be. Just taste it and see what you think.
The whisk style in the picture below is commonly used in Norway and my absolute favorite! I just love how easy it makes it to whisk together batters, sauces and such; it just works so much better for me than the more commonly used whisks. Here’s a direct link to where you can find it on Amazon.
Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. The juice will look cloudy when the corn starch is added, but will become transparent again once it comes to a boil. The sauce will seem very thin at this point.
Chill in the refrigerator while covered to prevent a membrane from forming. The sauce won’t thicken completely until cold. When the sauce is completely chilled, whisk well to achieve a uniform texture, otherwise it will seem gel-like and lumpy. If you think the sauce ends up too thick, just thin it with more juice. If it’s too thin, this is more difficult; you’ll need to add more cornstarch and bring it to a boil again, then cool down completely.
The sauce can also be served while still lukewarm if enough corn starch has been added, but it will then be necessary to thin the leftover sauce later as it continues to thicken.
A fun Norwegian tradition when eating this delicious rice pudding, is to play a “who’s got the almond” game: One single almond is first blanched to remove the brown “skin”. The now creamy-white almond is then secretly mixed into the pudding in the serving bowl. It stays hidden as it blends in well. When serving and eating the pudding, the person who ends up finding it in a mouthful wins a prize. Traditionally, the prize is a chocolate covered marzipan pig.
This wonderful, traditional Norwegian rice pudding is usually only served for Christmas in Norway, and is a dessert that my family always looks very much forward to. For us, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without this fluffy, white and pleasantly sweet riskrem! Please consider leaving a comment and star rating below if you decide to try my recipe, I would very much appreciate it! Thanks in advance!
- Topping sauce:
- Juice concentrate and water to make 3 cups somewhat strong tasting juice
- 10 teaspoons corn starch (3 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
- Rice Pudding:
- 4 cups rice porridge leftovers
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 half-pint cartons (or 2 cups altogether) heavy whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, but vanilla sugar strongly preferred)
- Prepare the topping sauce by whisking together juice and cornstarch until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Bring to a boil while stirring, until thickened.
- Cool while covered, until well chilled.
- Beat again with a wire whisk if needed, until smooth.
- Rice Pudding:
- Mix together cold rice porridge leftovers and milk. Set aside.
- Beat heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold whipped cream into porridge until blended together, careful not to beat air out of the whipped cream.
- Serve with the topping sauce on the side.