In this post, we learn How to Make Pudim Abade de Priscos, a wonderful Portuguese flan, first cousin degree to the classic Creme Caramel, very much part of the prior article Portuguese Sweets: Inside the Convents. The recipe originated in the Covent in Braga and the interesting twist of this dessert is the inclusion of Port wine and lard. Because of its richness, I like to use small, individual ramekins when making this dessert. But feel free to use a large pudding mold, as you would for any crème caramel dessert.
Pudim Abade de Priscos (Portuguese Pudding from Priscos)
2 cups sugar
¾ cup + 4 tablespoons water
¼ cup (45g) lard *
1 cinnamon stick
1 small piece lemon rind
15 egg yolks (about 250g)
¼ cup (60 ml) Port wine
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Equipment: 18 one-ounce ramekins (or custard cups, or mini muffin molds)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (do not use a convection oven). Line a roasting pan or a large baking dish with a double thickness of paper towels. Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; turn off the heat when it boils.
Make the Caramel: Place 1 cup sugar and 4 tablespoons of water into a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar turns into an amber-colored caramel, about 4 minutes. Distribute the caramel carefully and evenly among the ramekins coating the bottom. Set them aside.
Make the Pudding: In another medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the remaining 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup water, lard, cinnamon, and lemon rind to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the sugar mixture becomes a thick syrup, about 215 ˚F on a candy thermometer. Strain into a bowl and chill it over an ice bath for 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and lemon.
Place the yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk in the port and lemon juice. Add the cooled sugar syrup and whisk everything until it’s nice and smooth. Strain once again into a large bowl or measuring cup with a stout.
Distribute the custard evenly among the ramekins pouring carefully without forming any bubbles. Place the ramekins inside the roasting pan and fill with hot water from the kettle to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the puddings are set, about 35 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pan once during baking time,
Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the ramekins to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes.
Run a knife between the custard and the sides of the ramekins to loosen it. Place a small plate over each ramekin, quickly flip the plate and ramekin over and remove the ramekins; the pudding will shimmy out, and the caramel will coat the puddings.
* lard is rendered pork fat, easy to find at your regular butcher or supermarket. Technically you can also use bacon fat, but the smoky flavor of the bacon does not go so well with this dessert (at least in my opinion).
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