Finnish Whipped Porridge with Yogurt Cream (Vispipuuro)

Finnish Whipped Porridge with Yogurt Cream (Vispipuuro)
Finnish Whipped Porridge with Yogurt Cream (Vispipuuro)Kyle Johnson

In Minnesota’s “Finnish Triangle,” vispipuuro, a sweet, whipped, pudding-like porridge, is sometimes made with a tart wild fruit called the highbush cranberry. Classic versions also use lingonberries, red currants, or conventional cranberries. Cranberries contain natural pectin that helps to thicken the fruit juice; the addition of starchy farina allows the syrupy juices to be whipped to a tangy mousse that holds soft meringue-like peaks. The author advises that you use frozen berries rather than fresh, as they break down much more quickly into juice.

Finnish Whipped Porridge with Yogurt Cream (Vispipuuro)
In Minnesota’s “Finnish Triangle,” vispipuuro, a sweet, whipped, pudding-like porridge, is sometimes made with a tart wild fruit called the highbush cranberry.
Yield: serves 10-12
Time: 8 hours, 45 minutes

For the Cranberry Topping:

  • 2 cups (8 oz.) frozen cranberries, thawed slightly and sliced in half
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

For the Pudding and Yogurt Cream:

  • Pudding:
  • 6 cups (24 oz.) frozen cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 12 cup farina (cream of wheat)
  • 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Yogurt Cream:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. sugar
  • 34 cup viili (Finnish yogurt), or substitute whole-milk yogurt

Instructions

  1. Prepare the cranberry topping: Put the halved cranberries in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, maple syrup, and lemon juice, and toss well. Set aside to macerate for 2 hours. (Mixture can also sit covered overnight.)
  2. Meanwhile, make the pudding: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, ginger, and 3 cups of water and bring to a low simmer. Cook, crushing the cranberries once or twice with a potato masher to expel their juice, until the skins have popped, about 10 minutes.
  3. Set a fine sieve over a large liquid measuring cup. Add the cooked cranberries and drain, pressing with the back of a ladle to expel the juice, until you have 3 cups.
  4. Rinse out the saucepan and return the juice to the pan. Add the sugar, farina, and salt and cook, whisking, until the farina is swollen, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a wide bowl to cool slightly. Once no longer steaming, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it down against the surface of the mixture. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
  6. Meanwhile, make the yogurt cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and sugar. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Remove the bowl and stir in the yogurt, then refrigerate until well chilled.
  7. Transfer the cranberry pudding mixture to the mixer and whip until the mixture holds stiff peaks and looks about three shades lighter, similar to the texture of meringue.
  8. To serve, divide the pudding between 8 bowls and top each with a dollop of yogurt cream and some macerated cranberries.