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Latvian cranberry, cream and rye trifle ‘Rupjmaizes kārtojums’

Lätlaste riivleivadessert

Our Southern neighbours Latvians are celebrating their independent statehood again today. Last year I shared a recipe for delicious light pork dish, Kurzeme Stroganoff, to mark the occasion. This time you’ll get a recipe for a Latvian pudding, kind of rye and cranberry trifle, called rupjmaizes kārtojums (rupjmaize is the Latvian word for dark rye bread) or “Latvian Ambrosia” among English-speakers who know the stuff.  Cream, rye bread and cranberries is apparently a classic Latvian flavour combination. My local supermarket has a freezer selling Latvian ice cream, including a delicious (and deliciously large) tub of “Rupjmaizes kārtojums ice cream“. Latvian popular dairy giant, Karums, has at least one Rupjmaizes kārtojums (scroll down here for the photo). A quick googleing revealed many other commercially made rupjmaizes kārtojums derivatives.

You can serve it in a large glass bowl, like I’ve done, or in pretty dessert glasses (like on this Latvian website). I’ve seen recipes that are using just whipped cream for the cream part, and recipes that are using just curd cheese for the cream part. I’ve gone the Estonian route and mixed the two :)

Latvian sweet rye trifle 
(Läti leivadessert)

about 200 g grated dark rye bread (shop-bought and make your own)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp caster sugar, divided
400 g curd cheese cream
200 g whipping cream (35%, optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract or sugar
150 g cranberries, crushed and sweetened according to taste

Place the rye bread crumbs onto a non-stick frying pan. Add 2 Tbsp of sugar and the cinnamon. Stir, then slowly toast the breadcrumbs for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the bread is aromatic and, well, toasty :) Remove the pan from the heat and let the breadcrumbs cool completely.
Meanwhile, mix the curd cheese, sugar, vanilla and whipped cream (if using).
Layer the dessert into a large bowl or individual dessert glasses. Start with about a third of the bread mixture, then half of the cream mixture, half of the cranberries, then another third of the breadcrumbs, then the other half of the cream, then cranberries and finally top the dessert with the rest of the cinnamon-scented caramelized breadcrumbs.

Leave to stand for about 4-5 hours in the fridge before serving. Garnish with some whole cranberries.

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