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.