Ris à la Malta (rice pudding) is a popular Christmas dessert. It is usually cooked for Christmas Eve and is often a part of the Christmas buffet.
Ris á la Malta was created in the last part of the 19th century in Denmark. It is made out of rice pudding mixed with whipped cream, vanilla, and icing sugar and is usually served cold with a strawberry or cherry sauce. You can even serve it with bits of oranges and sprinkle cinnamon over it. It gained popularity when rice pudding became more common. Until then rice pudding had been a very exclusive dish, as making it required two expensive, imported ingredients: rice and cinnamon. After World War II, Ris á la Malta experienced an increase in popularity, being known as a “savings” dessert: adding whipped cream (which was easily available) to the still fairly expensive rice would make the rice last longer.
Normally, one whole almond is added to the dessert and the person finding the hidden almond in their serving is expected (only as a joke) to get married before next Christmas, but nowadays instead of getting married you are usually given a small gift such as a piece of chocolate, marzipan candy or some other small token.
Here is how you make Ris á la Malta and the sauce.
Ricepudding, 4 servings.
* ½ cup of short-grain or long-grain white rice
* 0.8 cups of water
* ½ tsp salt
* 2 cups of milk
* ½ cups of heavy cream/whipping cream
* 2 tbs icing sugar
* ½ tsp vanilla sugar
* Boil the rice with salt and water in a pot under a lid for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Make sure it doesn´t burn at the bottom.
* After 10 minutes add the milk and allow the rice to swell on low heat under the lid for 30-40 minutes, stir occasionally too keep sure that it is not burned in the bottom. It should be creamy and thick. Then set the pan aside and let the rice pudding cool completely in room temperature.
* Whip the cream and turn into the cold pudding, add the icing and vanilla sugar.
* Put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Serve with the strawberry sauce or with oranges/mandarins or as it is with cinnamon.
* 1½ cup of strawberry cordial/syrup
* 1 cup of water
* 2 tbs cornstarch
Put everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Once it starts to boil remove from stove and pour in a pitcher and let it cool.
You can serve it cold on the rice pudding or slightly warm.