From the time I was a little girl growing up in an American home in the USA but with a Latvian Dad and Grandparents I feel like I knew something about or had heard of this dessert. My Grandma always told how in her childhood they had whipped it with a spoon, which took forever and made it VERY special!
Personally I always loved the name of it, because debesmanna translates perfectly from the Bible as manna from heaven. In other words the bread God sent the Israelites to provide their daily needs.
This dessert has nothing to do with bread, but is a fruit juice based, cream of wheat dessert, which though it seems like a strange combination whips up into a delightfully light, airy dessert which is served with milk.
When my family lived in Latvian in the 90s a Latvian lady came over to teach me how to make this for our family. Usually this is made from red berries- either wild cranberries, red currants, or some other sour berry. I use frozen rhubarb regularly with a handful of red currants thrown in to give it the customary pink color.
The recipe below is graciously provided by my friend Gunta; with my notes and photos. Thanks Gunta for sharing! If you want it in Latvian click HERE
Ingredients x 10 of original recipe because we have kids and they love this 🙂
350 g. cranberries or another sour fruit or berry.
1 liter of water
250 g. sugar
150 g. cream of wheat
- Rinse berries if need be. Cover with the water and bring to boil. Boil until they are soft.
- Pour thru a sieve and use back of spoon to get as much juice as possible from the berries.
- Return the juice to the pot and add sugar, stir to dissolve. Bring to boil.
- Whisk in cream of wheat stirring constantly so as to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat. Cool.
- Pour into a stand mixing bowl and whip till light and fluffy. It will become much lighter in color and texture. If it isn’t sweet enough you can add more sugar at this point. I usually make it with less and my husband always seems to sweeten it up at this point 🙂
- Serve in bowls or decorative cups with milk poured over it.