There are five recipes featured on this page:
- Grandmother’s Pudding (Pudim da Avó)
- Pumpkin Soup (Sopa de Abobora)
- Walnut Cake with Chocolate Sauce
- Chocolate Tart with Maria Biscuit Crust
- Lemon Liqueur
Grandmother’s Pudding (Pudim da Avó)
- 4 egg yolks
- ¾ cups of granulated sugar
- ¼ cup of milk
- 1 7oz package of Maria Biscuits
- 1 16 oz container of Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
Using a food processor or a rolling pin, finely crush the Maria Biscuits and leave aside. *Sometimes I just use my hands to crush if I want some different textures.
In a double boiler fill the bottom with about 2-3 inches of water, place it over medium-high heat, and bring it to a simmer. On the top of the double boiler stir the egg yolks and sugar. Keeping the water in the bottom at a slow simmer, continue to stir until the egg mix until it is smooth. Then using a whisk and stirring a little faster pour in the milk and beat until it’s a frothy creamy consistency. This can take a while and I have used a hand held mixer with a whisk attachment to make it a lot easier on my wrists.
Once it’s done, remove from heat and let it cool off while you whip up the heavy cream.
In a medium bowl pour out the heavy whipping cream and add 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip until you form stiff peaks. Once you accomplish that; leave aside.
Now to assemble the dessert: Using the serving dish of your choice, layer the cookie crumbs first, then a layer of the sweet egg cream, then another layer of the crumbs, then a layer a the whipped cream and last you can add just a dusting of the cookie crumbs or a spoonful of the sweet egg cream.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but overnight is the best.
Pumpkin Soup (Sopa de Abobora)
- 2 19 oz cans of beans (I used red kidney beans) rinsed well or 1 cup of dry beans (*if using dry beans, soak them in water overnight)
- 1 large sweet onion
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste or 3 large tomatoes with skin and seeds removed
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 large white potato chopped
- 2 large sweet potatoes chopped
- 1 small pumpkin chopped and de-seeded (*can substitute with butternut squash if pumpkins are not available, also save the pumpkin seeds so that you can roast them for a special crunchy treat)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
- 1 Bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup of pasta (optional)
- Day old bread sliced (optional) to be placed on each plate with soup served over it
- Olive oil to be drizzled (optional) on each plate
Cook the beans, onion, garlic and water together till onion is cooked (about 10min) or until spoon can cut through the onion. Add the tomato paste or tomatoes and puree all the above in pot using a hand immersion blender. My mom would use a hand cranked food mill when making this soup. She liked the consistency of a thicker puree than you will get with a blender.
Add all the above chopped vegetables into the puree and add enough water to cover everything. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the cinnamon. Stir it all together and simmer until pasta/potatoes are cooked. Be sure to keep an eye on the water level. If the potatoes are taking a while to cook and the soup is losing water you can add hot water to restore the water level. Continue to simmer.
Once it’s cooked you can serve. I usually like to serve my soup over a slice of day old bread. The bread just soaks up all liquid and then I dribble olive oil over it and enjoy ever minute of the hearty soup. But there are no rules to follow…you can use pasta and still serve over bread, or just use pasta and no bread. It’s really up to you and what you’re in the mood for.
Walnut Cake with Chocolate Sauce
This cake was made for very special occasions in St Michael, Azores. It was often made at Christmas time because that’s when fresh walnuts were available. My Aunt Lilia, who shared this recipe with me, said that this cake was a popular treat that everyone always looked forward to having.
This wonderful nutty cake is not too sweet with the exception of the sauce being soaked into the cake. I let the cake soak for an hour before I serve it and my family loves it! I hope yours does, too.
The ratio of this cake is:
- 1 cup of Walnut Meal (Whole Walnuts pulsed in food processor)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 5 Eggs
- 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
Beat the eggs and sugar well until creamed and then add the walnut meal and flour and mix all together until well blended. If the mix is too wet you can adjust and add another tablespoon of flour until it’s the right consistency.
Grease 9″ cake pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour. The cake will not rise and will form a nice golden crust.
- 1 cup of Sugar
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
Note: I used a 16 oz bag of whole walnuts and I was able to get 3 cups of walnut meal. So I used 3 cups of sugar, 15 eggs and 12 tablespoons of flour which made a very big 10″ round x 3″ deep cake.
Chocolate Tart with Maria Biscuit Crust
The Maria Biscuit is a cookie I grew up with. It’s a wheat biscuit that’s not too sweet, but has always been a treat for me growing up. We eat it with our tea and coffee. You can pick this up at any grocery store in their international aisle. These biscuits are comparable to arrowroot cookies and can use them as a substitute.Cookie Tart Crust
- 2 7.5 oz packages of “Maria Biscuit”
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 soft sticks of butter
Crush and grind the Maria Biscuits to very fine crumbs in the food processor, one package at a time. Then, change to the dough blade and add the eggs and softened butter. Mix well and remove to a greased 12 inch loose bottom fluted tart pan. Press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely.Chocolate Filling
- 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 pint (16 oz) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 12 oz of the 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars (3 bars), broken
- Note: I use the Ghirardelli Chocolate and I have also added a cup of semisweet chocolate morsels to the above, since my family likes it a little sweeter.
- 1 pint (16 oz) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
With hand mixer whip together the whipping cream and sugar, beat until soft peaks form. Then spread over the tart filling and refrigerate over night for best results. Before serving you can add chocolate shavings over the top to give it that extra special look everyone won’t forget!
One of the dinners I shared with my family in Sao Miguel was at my cousin John Manuel’s home with his lovely family.We had the usual late dinner that didn’t start until 8:00 pm, and it was nearing midnight when it was about to end. But we still had one more thing to do: have some homemade liqueur to help settle our stomachs. That is when I had the most delicious tangerine liqueur. John Manuel told me that my mother was very good at making liqueur, and she would often have an assortment of tangerine, lemon, pineapple and milk liqueurs during the Christmas season to offer to all of her visitors. I loved hearing the stories of how my dad would make the wine in the fall, and from the leftover grape skins he made moonshine so my mom could make her liqueurs.
This recipe can be used for different citrus fruits. Since all the fruits were typically picked fresh and in season, it’s best to use organic fruits. The alcohol will extract the color and flavor of the peels, so you want the liqueur to be as pure as possible with no added chemicals. I experimented with lemons and all I can say is it was delicious.Ingredients
- 4 cups grain alcohol
- 2 lbs organic lemons
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups sugar
Peel the lemon skins very thinly so that only the yellow part of the skin is peeled. Be careful to avoid the white part of the rind, as it will make the liqueur bitter.
Soak the skins in the alcohol in a plastic container. Make sure the lemon skins are completely submerged. Seal the container with a lid and let it stand for a minimum of 14 days.
After the lemon peels have soaked, strain the lemon peels from the alcohol. If the skins have broken up into very small pieces, use a coffee filter in your strainer to help catch all the loose pieces. Throw away the peels and set the lemon-infused alcohol aside.
In a separate pan, bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Cover the pan and set aside until it has cooled to room temperature (at least a few hours).
Once the sugar-water mixture has reached room temperature, mix in the lemon flavored alcohol.
You are now ready to bottle.
I was able to fill one large wine bottle and 6 smaller ones with this recipe, but how to store and serve the liqueur is up to your preference. In Sao Miguel, it was served at room temperature, but I personally prefer it chilled from the freezer.