Whipped Lingonberry Porridge

Whipped semolina porridge with lingonberries, or vispipuuro as we call it, is a very traditional Finnish dessert. The semolina is first cooked with crushed lingonberries, then the porridge is cooled down, and finally it’s whipped, which gives it the right velvety texture and a pretty pink color. The resulting concoction is really more like a light and airy mousse than a porridge. Every grocery in Finland sells a readymade variety of this dish, but it’s nowhere near as airy and berryful as the homemade vispipuuro!

Vispipuuro is most traditionally made with lingonberries, but other berries and fruit can be used just as well. The garnish in the picture is red currants, which make a nice porridge too – and one variation is to use pureed apricots for a pretty yellow version. This time I used muscovado sugar because it pairs especially well with the strong aromatic taste of the lingonberries, but consequently the color of the porridge isn’t quite as pink as it would be with white sugar. Either way, this is one my most favorite desserts ever – and also one of the few traditional Finnish dishes that are vegan!

The Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 10 dl water
  • 1 and 3/4 dl semolina
  • 4 dl lingonberries (200 g)
  • 1 and 1/2 dl (muscovado) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

I started out by puréeing the berries with our stick blender until they were all smooth. Then I heated the water until it was boiling, and whisked in the semolina. I added the berries, sugar, and salt, and cooked the porridge for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time, until it had thickened a bit. The amount of sugar depends on the acidity of the berries, so it’s always a good idea to start with less and add more if needed.

The porridge has to cool down before it’s whipped, or else it won’t get all light and foamy. I poured the porridge in a large mixing bowl, let it sit in the room temperature for a few hours, and then refrigerated until it had cooled completely. Then I beat it with our mixer until it started to get lighter in color and quite fluffy, which took about 5 minutes or so.

Lingonberry semolina porridge is velvety right after it’s made, and after a night in the fridge it becomes a little more solid. It’s especially nice served with a little sugar and some cold soy milk!

The Best Mail Day Ever:

Sinead, whom I got to know through her blog Kitchen Dancing, is a Canadian vegan living in the UK, and she happens to like the Finnish salty liqourice candy called salmiakki. As per her request, I sent her a small assortment of different kinds of vegan salmiakki last week. On Monday the mailman delivered a brown package to our door, and it was filled with the cutest things: deliciously chewy ginger biscotti and truffles filled with white chocolate straight from Sinead’s kitchen, along with a beautifully packaged rosemary chocolate from a local chocolate shop, and a Secret Society of Vegans Membership Card! A great deal for me, no? Thanks Sinead, you are the sweetest!