Rye Berry or Wheat Berry Pudding

Rye Berry or Wheat Berry PuddingNow that I know that rye berries have a mild flavor, I’ve been looking for recipes that would utilize the Butterworks Farm organic rye berries  from Upper Valley Food Co-op. Might I find a recipe similar to rice pudding?

I guess I am not the first to think of that possibility! Kutia Wigilijna, or Christmas Cooked Wheat Pudding, consisting of whole or cracked wheat (rice for the aristocracy), honey and nuts (and sometimes raisins, poppy seeds and cream) is typically the first course served at the Polish Christmas Eve dinner known as wigilia.

There are hundreds of variations for kutia and it exists in other cultures including Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Slovakia. (Serbia -koljivo, Romania – coliva, Bulgaria – kolivo, Greece – kollyva, Middle East – kahmieh, Armenia – anoushabour, Old English – frumenty) . . . who knew?!

Wheat or Rye Berry Pudding

1 cup uncooked local rye berries or wheat berries, (see Note)
2 tablespoons plus 3 cups local low-fat milk, divided
1 cinnamon stick
1 strip orange zest, 1/2 by 2 inches (I used lemon zest since that’s what I had!)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup local maple syrup (I used Grade B)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup local maple yogurt, optional (I used a dab of VT Butter and Cheese Creme Fraiche)

Sort through wheat berries carefully; discard any stones. Rinse well. Place in a large heavy saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches.Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, adding more water if necessary, until the wheat berries are tender, about 1 hour. Drain well.

Place the wheat berries and 2 tablespoons milk in a food processor. Pulse, scraping down the sides as necessary, until most of the wheat/rye berries are coarsely chopped (some may remain whole).
Combine the chopped berries, the remaining 3 cups milk, cinnamon stick, orange (or lemon) zest and salt in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the mixture is very thick, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cinnamon stick and orange zest. Stir in maple syrup and vanilla.
Serve warm or chilled, sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with a
dollop of maple yogurt (or a dab of whipped cream, ice cream or creme fraiche) if desired. (Stir in more milk if the pudding gets too thick as it stands.)

Tips & Notes: I had a handful of organic raisins (not local!) which were a nice addition.

Make Ahead Tip: It’s great to have a supply of cooked rye or wheat berries stored in the freezer in 1 cup servings!
Recipe from http://www.Eatingwell.com

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