This is a lovely pudding, rich and thick with the texture similar to crème caramel. It makes me think of spring, as it’s the time when the cows calve and colostrum is readily available if one knows an obliging farmer. Colostrum is not sold in supermarkets, but you can sometimes find it at the Reykjavík flea market’s food section.
1 litre cow’s colostrum (milk from the first or second milking after calving)
Whole milk, as needed
1-2 tsp salt
Mixing the colostrum with milk is an art one has to learn, but the rule of thumb is that if it’s from the first milking, then it should be thinned 1:1, but if it’s from the second milking, then it should be thinned with two parts colostrum to one part milk. To make sure you’re getting the mix right, do a test batch and cook it to see how it comes out.
When you’re sure of the mix, stir together the milk and colostrum, dissolve the salt in a little warm water and add to the mix. Pour into a saucepan or bowl, put a lid on it and cook gently in a water bath on the stovetop, or bake in an oven until the mixture is set. The pudding should be solid, soft and smooth – the texture is similar to crème caramel.
(As a matter of fact, in one recipe I have seen Ábrystir is served much like crème caramel: ramekins are coated with burnt sugar syrup, the colostrum and milk are mixed with sugar and a vanilla bean, poured into the ramekins and cooked in a water bath.)
|With cinnamon sugar|
Serve hot or cold with cinnamon sugar (mix cinnamon into white sugar) and milk or half-and-half. Cold Ábrystir is also good with caramel sauce:
250 g sugar
1/4 litre hot milk
Put the sugar in a saucepan and heat until a white froth starts to form. Add the milk and stir to make a smooth sauce. Serve with Ábrystir, rice pudding, ris a la mande or other white milk-based puddings.