Norwegian Rice Cream (Riskrem): A Christmas Tradition

Norwegian Rice Cream (riskrem)

Ever since I can remember, eating Norwegian riskrem has been my family’s Christmas Eve tradition. This tradition was introduced to my family by a Norwegian friend and later adopted by my parents to our own family tradition. We’ve been eating Christmas Eve Riskrem ever since, (along with the BEST Christmas cookies). Rich rice porridge is mixed with heavy whipped cream to make the most delicious rice dessert I think I’ve ever tasted. We love pouring a fresh berry sauce or homemade raspberry jam right on top for a sweet flavor. But this tradition is not just about eating. On Christmas Eve we hide a blanched almond in the riskrem and enjoy a fun game with family and friends, trying to guess who is hiding the almond in their mouth. Whether it’s Christmas or you are just looking for a decadently delicious dessert, riskrem is always a good choice.

What is Riskrem?

Riskrem is traditionally Scandinavian and is served in various ways throughout the region. It is commonly made using leftover porridge. Many families eat porridge the day before Christmas Eve and then use the leftover porridge to make a delicious, creamy dessert on Christmas Eve: riskrem. This recipe is actually two recipes in one: one for rice porridge and one for the riskrem dessert. I’m not claiming this riskrem recipe to be completely authentic–we’ve tried and tweaked many variations of riskrem over the years and this recipe is exactly how we like it. Creamy, rich and utterly delicious, the best of the best.

Using an Instant Pot

I love, love, love my Instant Pot pressure cooker (I have an 8 quart one) and use it multiple times a week. Making the rice porridge in the Instant Pot is quick and convenient. Can you make this on the stovetop? I would think so, but I haven’t actually tried it. If I had to guess, I think you could make the porridge on the stove and then transfer it to a slow cooker or the oven to keep warm. If you do try it, please leave a review!

Risgrot: Make the Porridge First

Rice Porridge in Norwegian is called Risgrot. In order to have a creamy and delicious riskrem, you’ll want to make a good porridge as the base of the riskrem. Turn the Instant Pot onto sauté mode. Add the rice (arborio or Japanese sushi rice work great) and water to the pot. Stir to prevent sticking and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed until most of the water is absorbed. Then add in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to stir so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Stirring here to prevent sticking is especially important. Once it reaches a boil, turn the Instant Pot off of sauté mode. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Stir and place the lid on top of the Instant Pot, locking it in place. Press the “keep warm” button and let the porridge sit for 1 hour. After an hour, open the pot and stir the porridge. It will be ready to eat!

Refrigerate Some of the Porridge

To make riskrem, it’s important to chill the “risgrot” or porridge in the refrigerator after it’s been cooked. Take 4 cups of porridge and transfer it to an air tight container. Put the container in the refrigerator to use within the next 2-3 days. Enjoy the rest of the rice porridge for breakfast, a snack or meal. We like adding cinnamon, berries and a little extra sugar to the top. If you want a traditional and utterly delicious bowl of porridge, try adding a little butter, sprinkle of sugar and some cinnamon or cardamom. Yum.

Riskrem: Whip the Cream

When you’re ready to make the riskrem, pull the chilled porridge out of the refrigerator and put in a large bowl. Add a few Tablespoons of whole milk to the porridge to help loosen it up and make it creamy and smooth. To the bowl of a stand mixer, add cold heavy whipping cream, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla extract and almond extract. Whip the cream until it forms medium to stiff peaks, about 1 minute. Add this whipped cream to the chilled porridge and mix with a light hand until incorporated. At this point you can add slivered almonds if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Red Raspberry Sauce

Any berry sauce served over this riskrem takes this dessert from delicious to utterly delicious. My favorite is a raspberry puree.

  • 8 oz raspberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Add all the ingredients to a saucepan. Mash the berries and cook over medium heat. Once it reaches a boil, cook for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and set aside to cool. As the sauce cools, it will thicken. Once cooled, pour over riskrem and enjoy! The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Blanching an Almond

The Christmas Eve game we play that goes along with eating this riskrem requires a blanched almond. To blanch an almond, pour boiling water over the almond. Let it sit in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the almond from the boiling water and run cold water over the almond. Peel the skin off the almond and let it dry completely. This almond will be hidden in a cup of riskrem. The blanching is an important step so the almond blends in the with riskrem and helps keep the secret of who has the almond.

The Game: A Christmas Eve Tradition

We love this fun Christmas Eve Riskrem game. We’ve played it with large groups, small gatherings of friends and even just immediate family. Everyone gets a cup of riskrem with a blanched almond hidden in one of the cups. Gather in a circle and pass out the riskrem. You may want to be a little strategic with the cups if you have young young children playing. As you eat the riskrem, search for the blanched almond. If you find it, discreetly put it in your mouth and keep it there for the duration of the game. Everyone keeps talking…and trying to figure out who is hiding the blanched almond in their mouth. After a few minutes, go around the circle and guess who has the blanched almond. You win if you guess correctly OR if you have the almond and are able to keep everyone from guessing you! Traditionally we give a pig shaped in marzipan for the winner but we’ve also done a chocolate orange or another favorite Christmas treat.

Merry Christmas

We love this tradition and it makes for a fun Christmas Eve. We all get excited to know who has the almond and to try to guess it correctly. The riskrem is delicious. The game is fun. If you’re looking for a new tradition to add to your Christmas holidays, give this one a try. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season!

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Can I use a pot on the stove?

I have only made this recipe in an Instant Pot. I think it would work to cook the rice porridge on the stove and then cover and leave in a warm place (maybe the oven or slow cooker) for an hour. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

What is the best kind of rice to use for this recipe?

Arborio rice is traditionally used in riskrem. We actually like using our favorite sushi rice. Any favorite short to medium grain rice will work.

How long does riskrem last in the refrigerator?

Riskrem can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before eating.

Do you have a berry sauce you recommend?

The post has a simple raspberry sauce recipe we enjoy. We’ve also used raspberry or strawberry jam in a pinch.

Norwegian Rice Cream (riskrem)

Norwegian Riskrem: A Christmas Tradition

Norwegian-style riskrem (rice cream) is rich, luscious and absolutely delicious. Made from rice porridge, this riskrem is easy to make with an instant pot and perfect to enjoy during a chilly December holiday season.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Norwegian
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

Risgrot (Rice Porridge)

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice arborio or Japanese rice, medium-short grain
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract reserved

Riskrem (Norwegian Rice Cream)

  • 4 cups leftover rice porridge chilled
  • 2-4 Tablespoons whole milk as needed
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds if desired
  • 1 blanched almond for Christmas Eve game
  • 1/2-1 cup red fruit sauce (jam/coulis) raspberry, strawberry or cherry work well

Instructions
 

Risgrot (Rice Porridge)

  • To an Instant Pot, or other electric pressure cooker, add the white rice and water. Turn the instant pot on sauté mode and boil the rice with the lid off for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. After about 10 minutes, most of the water will be absorbed by the rice.
  • Add the milk and stir. Let the mixture come to a boil again, stirring to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the milk/rice mixture comes to a boil, turn sauté mode off. Continue stirring until the mixture stops boiling and then add the sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Cover the mixture with the instant pot lid and set to "warm" setting. Let it sit for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour, take the lid off. Scoop 4 cups of porridge into an airtight container and stick it in the refrigerator to save for making the riskrem. Use within 2-3 days.
  • The extra porridge can be topped with cinnamon, cardamom, butter, berries, extra sugar (if desired). We love eating this for breakfast or as a snack in the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

Riskrem (Norwegian Rice Cream)

  • Take the 4 cups of leftover porridge out of the refrigerator. Add a few Tablespoons of whole milk to the rice porridge and mix together until you get a thick and creamy mixture.
  • Pour 2 cups of heavy whipping cream into the cold bowl of a mixer. Add 6 Tablespoons of sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt to the whipping cream. Whip the cream by whisking on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
  • Mix the freshly whipped cream into the porridge/milk mixture until you have a bowl full of riskrem. Add slivered almonds if desired.
  • Blanche an almond by pouring boiling water over it, letting it sit for 1 minute, then moving the almond to cold water and removing the skin.
  • Portion the riskrem into cups and hide a blanched almond in one of the cups. While you eat dessert, try to guess who has the blanched almond (they have to keep it in their mouth). The person who guesses correctly (or successfully keeps it hidden with noone guessing) gets a prize. Serve berry sauce (or jam) on the side. Enjoy!
Keyword Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas traditions, Norwegian rice cream, Norwegian rice pudding, Norwegian riskrem, rice porridge, rice pudding, risgrot, riskrem

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2 responses to “Norwegian Rice Cream (Riskrem): A Christmas Tradition”

  1. Kris Avatar
    Kris

    I love reading your memories from this wonderful tradition! I also really enjoy seeing those photos from years past. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for continuing this fun, delicious, and festive tradition with others. 🍚🎄🇳🇴

  2. Shelley Avatar
    Shelley

    We are so glad that your family introduced us to this tradition so many years ago. It is certainly a family favorite for all of us!

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