Rødgrød med fløde is a Danish dessert, traditionally made with red currants combined with other red berries and fruits, such as raspberries, cherries, and strawberries. Served cold, the fruit soup is slightly thickened with cornstarch (or potato starch). I like mine made primarily with red currants and some raspberries for their perfume.
Rødgrød med fløde is also an excellent way to humiliate exchange students, as the phrase is notoriously difficult to pronounce. When I lived in Denmark rødgrød med fløde graced the table often. I always approached it with anxious pleasure. Or was it pleasurable torment? Because I knew I’d have to make my lame attempt at pronunciation and smile through the family’s laughs before I could even pick up my spoon.
In Denmark we ate our rødgrød ladled into soup plates for an afterschool snack, or as a light dessert (cakes and cookies were only served at teatime, never for dessert) after dinner.
The cream (fløde) pitcher made its way around the table, everyone adding generous sloshes into their bowls. It was hard to resist the bright pink and white--when no one was looking I liked to marbleize the cream across the top with my spoon. Sometimes we even spooned a bit of whipped cream on top. You’ve got to love a place where people put both cream and whipped cream on their desserts.
Nowadays I have my own red currant bush. No matter what I do (or more to the point, what I don’t do) it produces pounds and pounds of currants every year. I freeze most of the berries, saving them to make jelly, summer pudding (into the fall), pies, and, of course, rødgrød med fløde.
Because it’s such a pretty dish. And so good.
Rødgrød med flødeIn Denmark, we ate many thickened fruit soups through the year: rhubarb, strawberry, cherry, and my favorites: rødgrød med fløde (in spite of the humiliation) and Mirabelle plum soup.
I generally use frozen berries for this.
- 300 grams red currants (a generous 2 cups, without stems)
- 200 grams raspberries (a shy 2 cups)
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 75 grams (5 tablespoons) sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
Put the juice back into the saucepan and add the sugar (use more or less to taste). Bring to a boil, and then stir in the dissolved cornstarch. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil again, and boil for a full 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and pour into a serving dish. Some suggest sprinkling sugar over the surface to keep a skin from forming. I haven’t had luck with that. Maybe you will?
Let cool to room temperature, then put in the refrigerator to chill. Serve with cream and/or whipped cream.
- It's tempting, and easy, to oversweeten this, as the currants are tart. Resist the temptation--the currants have an intense taste, and when combined with too much sugar the dish tastes like a bowl of jam. Pass a bowl of sugar at the table for those who want more.
- For more of a ‘company’ dessert, after the rødgrød med fløde is chilled, layer it in parfait glasses with whipped cream. Add some amaretti crumbs to the layers, or, my favorite, caramelized pumpernickel crumbs.