Portuguese Desserts

Portuguese desserts, usually quite sweet and high in egg content, have never been a nightly habit. But bring on a special occasion or holiday, and you can find the dessert table over laden with puddings of rice, custard, meringue, platters of cookies and cakes and of course sweet bread, some will call “massa sovada” and others “pão doce”. Usually the flavoring consists of grated lemon peel or orange peel and of course cinnamon. Today you will find some cooks using vanilla more frequently. Cookies are typically brushed with beaten egg wash. They aren’t usually fancy but they’re the perfect match with hot tea or coffee. Modern versions are including the use of baking powder in recipes that previously relied solely on a beaten quantity of eggs for leavening. Eggs are separated, yolks incorporated into the batter and the stiffly beaten whites are folded in the batter before pouring into the prepared cake pan.

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Cavacas (Sweet Iced Popovers)

  This is a very popular dessert or snack, especially around Christmas and Carnival time.   For an added treat, drizzle a tablespoon of the Portuguese Beirao liquor.   9 x-large eggs 1 cup olive oil 2 cups flour …

Sweet Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce )

Serves 4 to 6 This is what I consider to be one of the sweet rice puddings.  Creamy, soft, and the essence of orange lingers on the palate. 5 cups whole milk 1 cup short grain rice 1/2 teaspoon table salt water as needed peel…

Pineapple with Port Wine (Ananas com Vinho do Porto)

Makes 4 cups This wonderful treat from the Azores is perfect for ending a summer meal.Why have canned pineapple when fresh sweet pineapple is so refreshing! 1 large pineapple Sugar as needed 3/4 cup Ruby Porto wine or as needed Slicing…

Heavenly Cream (Natas do Ceu)

Serves 6 Some versions use condensed milk and unflavored gelatin. This is similar to the Pudim de Bolacha Maria. 1 package of Bolacha Maria cookies (about 16 cookies) Substitute Nabisco cookies if these aren't available; adjust the quantity,…