Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Strawberry Tart with Custard

A fresh Strawberry tart to be flavoured in a beautiful Spring day.


6 brick pastry sheets
1/2 pint (300 ml) milk
4 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons flour


Cover a buttered tart mould with the Brick sheets and bake it until golden brown.
Prepare the filling: Mix the softened butter with the cornflour and add the milk.Beat in the yolks and add the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time and cook very gently until it thickens.
Place in the refrigerator. When it is cold pour into the baked pastry and place again in the refrigerator. After cooling filledd with the strawberries and serve it.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Soft Cheese Slices (fatias de Requeijão)

This is a Traditional recipe from Alentejo usually done at farmhouses because the farmers do their own cheese and they use it to prepare this kind of cake-pudding.


1 lb (450 gr) soft cheese (riccota, requeijão)
7 oz (200 gr) granulated sugar
4 oz (110 gr) flour
4 egg yolks
6 whole eggs
1 coffeespoon cinnamon
Combine the sugar with the cheese, to obtain a soft paste. Add the flour, the cinnamon, the eggs and the egg yolks. Mix very well. Prepare a baking tray , 8x12 inches (20.5 x 30.5) well greased and lined.
The lining paper must also be greased and sprinkled with flour. Pour the mixture onto this and bake at 180ºc/350ºF/Gas 4 for 20 minutes, until firm and golden.
Cut the cake into slices and sprinkle with icing sugar or cinnamon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Chocolate Truffles

Truffles are bite-sized petit four made with a creamy mixture of chocolate, butter and liqueur.
I usually make them for Easter but also for Christmas and other parties. I hope you like this recipe with portuguese liqueur Tia Maria, they are really creamy and flavoured.


7 oz (200gr) dark chocolate
31/2 oz (100 gr) butter
31/2 oz (100 gr ) icing sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon Tia Maria Liqueur


Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, then add the butter and stir continuously until the mix is smooth. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, the egg and the liqueur. Let rest in cold two hours.
With a teaspoon, take small pieces of chocolat and work them quickly with hands to form a ball. Then roll it in cocoa. Let rest in cold again.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Potato Delights - Delicias de batata

These delights are from Ribatejo Province and they are made with mashed potato that give them an interesting texture. They are delicate and very sweet.


3 oz (90 gr) ground almonds
31/2 oz (100 gr) mashed potatoes
7 0z (200 gr) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon butter
3 eggs
3 tablespoons water


Mix the water with the sugar and boil to make a light syrup ( achieved very quickly, almost immediately after reaching boiling point - 101ºC/215ºF).
Add the mashed potato and almonds. Boil until thick, over a low flame, stirring. Set aside until almost cold. Add the eggs and flour and beat well.
Bake the mixture in well- buttered patty tins, at 210ºC/425ºF/gas 7 for 20 minuteas or until golden brown. Take out of the tins carefully, before they are completely cold.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Pasta Pudding - Aletria

This is a traditional dessert from Minho and Douro Litoral provinces. The pasta ( fine noodles or vermicelli) is used in this recipe for a sweet resembling rice pudding, portuguese style. It usually served in large serving dishes or in a bowl and then take out of it only when quite cold.


4 oz(90 gr) vermicelli, just crumbled
4 oz(110 gr caster sugar)
1/2 pint (300 ml) milk
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 piece of lemon rind


Cook the pasta in plain water with a pinch of salt. Drain. Mix with the milk, sugar and lemon rind. Bring to the boil and simmer until creamy. Mix the butter and beaten egg yolks. Bring just to the boil for one second and remove from the heat. pour into a serving dish or in a bowl and dust with cinnamon. Serve cold.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Orange Roll

The citrus fruits were introduced into Portugal and Iberian Peninsula by the arabes who had themselvs brought them from eastern countries. In Portugal they are cultivated mainly in the Setúbal and Algarve regions. Oranges from the Algarve are the best for the table and oranges from Setúbal are smaller and used for the table and for juices, jams and preserves.
Oranges are adopted as a flavouring for puddings, cakes, biscuits, desserts and homemade liqueurs. Their peel can be candied and is very popular for cakes.
This roll is a very popular dessert in Portugal, made with orange juice and orange rind.
1/4 pint (150 ml)pure orange juice
grated rind of 1 orange
2 tablespoon cornflour
10 oz (280 gr) caster sugar
8 large eggs


Dissolve the flour in the juice and mix in the sugar, grated ring and beaten eggs. Combine well, without whisking too hard. Prepare a baking tray suitable for a roll, 8x12 inches ( 20 x 30) well grased and lined. The lining paper must also be greased and sprinkled with sugar.
Pour the mixture onto this and bake at 180ºC/350ªF/Gas 4 for 15-20 minutes until firm. turn into a sligtly damp cloth, sprinkled with sugar. Trim the edges and roll up carefully, with the help of the cloth. Put in a serving dish and sprinkled again with sugar, when cold.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Coconut Cakes (Bolinhos de Coco)

These are small cakes very popular in some Portuguese houseolds. Because they are very easy to do and its appearance and taste make them suitable for wedding and birthday parties.

7 oz (200 gr) desiccated coconut
6 oz (175 gr) caster sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons flour
grated rind of 1/2 small lemon

Mix all the ingredients toroughly. Divide the mixture among small paper cases. Place in a tray and bake at 200ºC/425ºF/Gas7 for about 10 minutes or until golden.
These cakes can also be baked in little mounds or pyramides in a well-buttered and floured tray.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Pumpkin Jam

This is one of my favourite jams. This is very useful for filling cakes, tarts and as a dessert mixed with walnuts, almonds or served with cheese as I showed in the last post.


1 Ib (45o gr) cooked pumpkin
12 oz (350 gr) granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick


Peel and clean the pumpkin and cook in water until tender. Place in a sieve to drain while pressing it lightly to extract the liquid trapped inside. Mash it, leaving it sligtly lumpy. Mix with sugar and the cinnamon stick and boil, stirring with wooden spoon until it thickens. Remove from the heat. Let it cold and pour into a glass bowl. It is better to keep it in the fridge.

Monday, 9 March 2009


Requeijão is made with the whey of the milk and usually having a characteristic strong taste. It is produced all over the country, specially in the Lower Beira region.
Its taste and texture are similar to that of riccota cheese and it is eaten fresh. It is tipically sold in specially designed draining plastic or basket-like weaved containers.
There are many portuguese recipes that use requeijão, for example puddings or cheesecakes but it is also served with jams like pumpkin jam.

Requeijão with Pumpkin Jam

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Little Fish from the Kitchen Garden (Peixinhos da Horta)

This recipe is very curious because it has fish in the name but in fact it hasn't any fish. It is prepared with green beans in a batter, and so resembles small fish. This accompaniment is common fare in Portugal, while beans are season, being served mainly at home, although some restaurants also have them. They are good hot or cold and generally they are intended to go with meat dishes or alone as a starter dish.


4oo gr (14 oz) green beans, cutted into equal lengths
120 gr (4 oz) white plain flour
2 eggs
salt and pepper
cold water
oil for frying


Cook the green beans during 20 minutes.
In a bowl mix the flour with enough water to make a paste with the consistency of thick cream. When the flour is well mixed and free from lumps, add the beaten eggs and a little salt and pepper, beat well. Then use the batter for coating the green beans, frying them in groups of three over medium heat until golden. Absorb excess fat on kitchen paper as you take them out the frying pan. Serve hot or cold.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ham, Cheese and Bacon Roll (Bola de fiambre, queijo e bacon)

In Portugal we have got many types of bread but there's also a big variety of enriched breads called "bolas". They are rolls stuffed with ham, bacon, codfish, chicken and other meats.They are original from the North of Portugal and in the past people usually made them to celebrate Christmas, Easter or other special ocasions. Now we can find them in the village baker or in a local market.

400 gr (14 oz) strong white flour
275 ml (10 fl oz) of warm water
25 gr (1 oz) fresh yeast
2 eggs
2 tbsp of sugar
50 gr ( 2 oz) butter
1 pinch of salt
slices of ham, bacon and cheese

Crumble or prinkle the yeast into a small bowl, add a splash of water and mix until smooth. In a bowl mix the flour, salt, and the yeast mixture. Then add the eggs, sugar, butter and the rest of warm water.
Knead for about 5 minutes or until really smooth and supple. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size in a warm place.
Knead lightly for 1 minute.
Then make a roll out to a rectangle not very thin and cover it with slices of cheese, ham and bacon.Roll up the dough firmly. Put it in a greased baking sheet and rised until doubled in size. When the roll is ready, glaze with egg and bake it for 20 minutes at 200ºC (400ºF).

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Portuguese egg pudding

This is a traditional portuguese pudding usually cooked to celebrate a special day like a wedding day, christmas, birthday or a family reunion.
Now is in almost every restaurants in Portugal as an everyday dessert.
4 cups of milk
12 eggs
3 cups of sugar
1 tbsp of flour
zest of a lemon
caramel sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degreesF (200º C).
In a bowl beat the eggs until frothy.
Combine the sugar the flour and the lemon zest and beat the mixture into the eggs. Add the milk and mix again.
Pour the caramel into an ovenproofmold, rolling it aroud the sides to coat the mold evenly.
Pour the custard into the caramelized mold.
Place the mold in a larger pan and add water to come halfway up the sides of the mold.
Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean.
Cool the room temperature. Then place it in refrigerator tree hours.
Unmold the pudding on a reving plate.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Portuguese Custard Tart - Pastel de Nata Tart

The original recipe for "Pasteis de Nata" was invented by two catholic sisters in the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Lisbon, and called Pasteis de Belém. Since then the secret recipe has been havily guarded by the onwers of Pasteis de Belém cake shop.
Today there are many recipes which try to imitate the original. This gorgeous tart is one of these and I hope you like it.

25o gr ready-made puff pastry, thowed if frozen
1,5 dl water
250 gr caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2,5 dl fresh cream
zest of lemon


Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 23cm tart ring.
Then prepare the custard : Mix the sugar and the water in a saucepan, bring to the boil during 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
In a bowl combine the flour with two tabsps of fresh cream and add the egg yolks, the egg, the fresh cream and the lemon zest. Mix well and spread the custard sauce over the base. Bake for about 45 minutes (heat the oven to 180ºc degrees), until golden brown and cooked. Serve it cool and dust the tart with icing sugar.