Danish Christmas traditions are mostly about food.

Christmas in a family that values their Danish heritage is a holiday full of wonderful food and tradition. A very significant traditions is the Risengrød or rice pudding. At our home, as well as our grandmothers, it could be served warm, or cold, with milk, or whipped cream, cinnamon, and/or butter. And always with one whole almond mixed somewhere in the large serving bowl. And tradition calls for the one who finds the almond also gets a small gift or prize. In the olden days this porridge was placed on the farm lofts with a mug of Christmas beer to please the pixies. If the pixies were happy with the food and brew the farm would be in luck for the following year. Somehow, for some reason, I don’t remember getting any beer with our pudding.

Anyway, during this holiday season, I was pleased to see that the pudding was also served at our churches holiday evening. It was good to see that the tradition is followed by others as well, even though I didnt get the almond, or beer that night either.

The dinner featured other Scandinavian foods, and made a dessert that my grandmother used to make:

Danish Apple Cake

  • 2 cups crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

The crumbs can be from dried bread, cake zwieback, macaroons or a combination.
Brown the crumbs well in a skillet with butter and 1 tablespoon sugar.
Put a generous third of the crumbs on the bottom of a serving dish.
Layer 1/2 of the applesauce.
Grandma made this with freshly cooked applesauce, but store bought is ok.
Put in another layer of crumbs leaving a sprinkling for the top.
Layer in the other 1/2 of the applesauce.
Sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top.
Chill in refrigerator and allow to harden.
Serve cold with generous topping of whipped cream that includes the vanilla and teaspoon sugar.
You can sweeten/decorate with brown sugar or red jam if you wish.

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