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!

9 Comments

  1. Mia
    Posted September 11, 2008 at 11:01 | Permalink

    Åh I can hear that special sound when you put the spoon into it. Lovely! Reminds me of my childhood summers in Finland. Think I have to cook me some today.

  2. Posted September 11, 2008 at 11:56 | Permalink

    Oh! I have to try that dessert. I loooove berries. We had such a crazy variety of them in northern Canada, and I miss them at this time of year. I haven’t seen any lingonberries here, but there are plenty of currants.

    Glad you liked the package. I’m enjoying the salmiakki very much. Yum.

  3. Anni
    Posted September 11, 2008 at 15:34 | Permalink

    Mia – what a lovely memory, it’s amazing how food can trigger so clear images of times past. Thanks for your comment!

    Sinead – the package really made my day! I finally tasted the rosemary chocolate today as well, and it’s delicious. I like how the rosemary is in the background and doesn’t overpower the wonderful chocolate aroma, how it adds complexity instead of being the center of attention. Glad you’re liking the salmiakki – if you make this dessert you’ll be half Finnish already!

  4. Posted September 11, 2008 at 16:58 | Permalink

    I love lingonberries! What a nice dessert.
    You are so nice, I already read about your package on sineads blog the other day.

  5. Posted September 11, 2008 at 21:32 | Permalink

    Hi Anni, u hve a wonderful blog. I luv anything cooked with semolina and this dish looks familiar to the Indian firni which is porridge cooked in milk but it is not whipped.

  6. Anni
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 09:21 | Permalink

    Thanks Mihl, lingonberries are the best!

    Zareena, thank you so much for your sweet comment. How interesting about the firni – Finns also cook a semolina porridge in milk, but it’s called mannapuuro (manna is semolina in Finnish)!

  7. Posted September 19, 2008 at 16:39 | Permalink

    I used to have that as a child. My mother made it for us. I always called it princess porridge (but in Swedish of course). I still make it sometimes and even if it’s a dessert I usually end up eating it as my main meal.

  8. Ali
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 18:55 | Permalink

    I spent a summer in Espoo, Finland about 10 years ago and I fell in love with this dish! Thanks for sharing this recipe. The problem is that I can’t eat semolina anymore because I’m gluten intolerant. Any ideas for gluten-free semolina replacements?

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