Danish Style Berry and Rhubarb Dessert

In peak season summer fruit is most often enjoyed fresh, ripe, and raw, but there are many ways you can enjoy fruit stewed or baked instead. Cooking fruit brings out a rounded and more concentrated flavour. 

The Danish have a tradition of stewing summer berries to create a wonderfully silky pudding called Rødgrød med fløde that they serve topped with cold thick cream. The contrast of taste and texture in each spoonful is a wonderful surprise to experience. It’s such an easy dessert to make. Use any berries you have available. I tend to prefer a red-coloured version so I use more red berries in my mixture. If you don’t have rhubarb, you can make this with 2 lbs of berries instead. This recipe is easily halved or doubled.
Voula Halliday, Stifado.

Voula Halliday’s Silky smooth Danish Style Berry and Rhubarb Dessert with Cream. Stifado, August 2021

Makes about 4 cups, 6-8 servings

1 lb fresh or frozen mixed berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries
1 lb fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 cup granulated sugar, or alternative natural sweetener (see note)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
4 Tbsp water
35% whipping cream (full fat cream), regular coconut milk, vanilla yogurt or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Chop berries and rhubarb into small pieces. Transfer fruit into a medium-size saucepan. Stir in sugar and vanilla extract.

Set pan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often, then turn down heat and simmer, about 8 to 10 minutes, until berries and rhubarb have completely softened and the mixture has thickened. 

Remove pan from heat and reduce temperature to low. In a small bowl stir together cornstarch and water until well combined then stir into the pot until evenly mixed with fruit and set pan over low heat, making sure it does not come to a boil. Simmer gently for 3 to 5 minutes, just until the mixture has a pudding-like texture. Remove from heat and set aside to come to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

When ready to serve stir mixture, then add about ½ cup into each serving bowl and top with a generous pour (2 to 4 Tbsp) of cream or another topping of your choice. This dessert keeps well stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Dessert is served. Voula’s Danish Style Berry and Rhubarb Dessert served with a swirl of cream. Stifado, August 2021
This recipe can be made with an alternative natural sweetener such as stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol. Be sure to check what the ratio for substitution is before swapping one sweetener for another. 

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