NPR logo Rommegrot


Courtesy of Christine Bielke
Courtesy of Christine Bielke

Submitted by Christine Bielke of Milwaukee

It's a Norwegian Christmas pudding that cooks all day. It's the first thing my mom puts on the stove for any of our holiday meals, and then she simply keeps an eye on it, adding more milk or cream as the day goes on. It's basically a cream pudding (though my family makes it a little nontraditional with a small amount of rice and substituting some low-fat milk for the cream) that's served warm with butter, cinnamon and sugar on top. While it sounds like a dessert, we actually eat it as an appetizer at the very beginning of the meal! What's not to love?

1/2 cup white rice

2 cups half-and-half or cream

Pinch of salt

4-6 cups milk

Heat the rice, half-and-half and salt in a double boiler over low heat. Cover and simmer for a minimum of 2 hours, adding additional milk as the mixture thickens. This is the minimum time you need for the rice to break down. Ideally, it should cook over low heat for 6-8 hours for a smoother, creamier rommegrot. Continue to add milk as needed and periodically check the double boiler to keep it from boiling dry. If it does boil dry it will turn your rommegrot brown. You can adjust the recipe and amounts of cream versus milk to suit your taste, although it is not recommended to make it with just milk.

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When ready to serve, make sure the rommegrot is at a pudding consistency. Serve warm with a dollop of butter and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

Traditional Norwegian rommegrot does not use rice. It is essentially just cooked cream with flour, but in this recipe the rice acts as a thickening agent instead. I'm not sure how my family started making it with rice, but this is the way my Norwegian grandmother and also, I believe, the way her mother made it.