This elegant rice pudding is topped with a delicately browned meringue. This is a popular Christmas pudding from Sweden. The Swedish tradition is to insert an almond in the dessert. The person that gets the almond will be married in the coming year.

Some Swedish pudding recipes include cinnamon either mixed in the pudding or sprinkled on the top sometimes in the shape of a cross. Other recipes include orange zest or lingonberries.

Ingredients

4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup uncooked rice
5 large egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 egg whites (at room temperature)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Bring the milk just to a gentle boil in a heavy saucepan being careful not scorch the milk. Add the butter. Stir in the salt and rice, reduce the heat and let simmer uncovered until the rice is soft and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla together. Stir in about one cup of the hot rice mixture to temper the yolk mixture. Then pour all of the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan stirring constantly. Continue stirring and bring the pudding mixture to boil. Cook for two additional minutes or until the pudding is thickened. Pour the pudding into a greased 8 x 8-inch baking dish or a nine-inch deep-dish pie pan.
3. In a large glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites into a soft meringue. Add the granulated sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks are formed. Spread the meringue over the top of the pudding just as you would for a meringue pie.
4. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until the meringue starts to turn a golden color, about 15 minutes.

Serve well chilled.

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