Rice pudding has been an important dish in Sweden for centuries. The first record of rice pudding served in Sweden was in 1328, at the funeral vigil for the father of St. Bridget of Sweden. In the 18th century, rice pudding was considered trendy and served at the best parties.
Rice pudding can be served at any time of the year, but is almost always included as part of a julbord (Christmas buffet). It is normally sprinkled with cinnamon. Often there is an almond hidden in the rice pudding and the person receiving the almond is given a task, such as reciting a rhyme as a thank you for the meal. In the old days, if a single young man or woman found the almond, it was a sign that the coming year would bring true love.
How to make Risgrynsgröt:
- Place the rice, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the milk and cinnamon stick. Mix well and heat until mixture is hot, but do not let it boil.
- Cover again and let the pudding sit over very low heat until the rice has absorbed all the milk. This normally takes between 30 and 45 minutes. Do not stir the rice and keep it covered as much as possible.
- Once the milk has been absorbed, remove from the heat and let stand covered for another 10 minutes.
- Then stir in the sugar and butter.
- Serve lukewarm sprinkled with ground cinnamon. At Christmas, hide an almond in the pudding before serving.
- This recipe is based on a traditional Swedish recipe that was for 4 people, but I think it can easily serve 8 people.
- A creamy cold version called Ris à la Malta is served with a fruit sauce and may be even more popular.