We had something to look forward to after we returned from summer vacation: our friends Kira and Kevin and their kids Anton and Freya visited us for dinner and a sleepover. Kira and I share a love of food, cooking, and cookbooks. She brought along two amazing treats.
The first was an apple tart made from apples picked in her garden. The second was uniquely Danish and wonderfully good. It's called Ris a l'amande and is a rice pudding of sorts traditionally served after Christmas dinner in Denmark. I loved the light sweetness, crunchy almonds, and texture of the creamy rice. Served with a spoon of warm cherry sauce, this is a must have dessert.
Ris a l'amande
1 liter milk
50 g sugar
125 g rice (short grain/arborio)
50g chopped unsalted almonds
1/2 liter heavy cream
1tsp vanilla or inside bits of one vanilla bean
1. Mix rice, milk, and sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir continuously until the mixture becomes thick.
2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and set aside.
3. Once cool, fold in heavy cream and almonds.
4. Serve with warm kirsebærsauce. Or, if you live outside of Scandinavia, use cherry compote, cherry preserves, or a can of pie cherries. The dessert tastes best if the rice porridge is coolish and the cherry topping warm.
Notes: Kira used toasted almonds. Dry roasted would be really nice, too. Thanks to Google images for letting me borrow a photo. I was too busy eating to think of taking one. To my U.S. measurement friends, my apologies for using metric. But don't you like how I threw in a teaspoon of salt and vanilla at the bottom?
I prepared a burger recipe from Every Day with Rachel Ray that was good but not magical. The pasta salad I made was adapted from a recipe in the same issue of the magazine and again, I wasn't overly impressed. For breakfast I baked a buttermilk cake that was inspired by the recipe for Salt-Kissed Buttermilk Cake on 101 Cookbooks, with sliced nectarines and blueberries on top. Though tasty, I was unpleasantly surprised that the buttermilk did not deliver a more moist crumb. A tad too dry for my taste, but luckily the fruit compensated for that.