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Pasteis de Nata.jpg

Portuguese gastronomy has many desserts but you have to limit yourself and I have chosen for you the desserts that are most often served at Christmas on Portuguese tables.

Don't hesitate to look into these other pages after completing this lesson:At a Party, Slang, Car Rental & Colors.

Examples of Portuguese desserts[edit | edit source]

Pasteis De Nata[edit | edit source]

Pasteis de Nata are unquestionably the greatest success of Portuguese pastry.

We now find them all over the world, even in the streets of Paris or New York and also in supermarkets.

BUT the Pasteis de Nata is really excellent only eaten warm, just out of the oven and just sprinkled with a little cinnamon. So, get to your stove!

Pao de Lo[edit | edit source]

Pão de ló is a traditional Portuguese cake. A simple dessert: eggs, sugar and flour! Depending on the region where you find it, the center of the cake is more or less moist. It can be dry to runny as if it hadn't been thoroughly cooked on the inside. Dry ones are usually easily recognizable because the cake has a hole in the middle.

The best known “pão de ló” (“wet” version) are those of the towns of Ovar and Alfeizerão. The story goes that they are runny inside following the error of a cook. When she made the recipe for the visit of a king, in a hurry, she removed the cake from the oven before the time needed for cooking. The heart of the cake was still almost liquid but the king loved it and the recipe stuck.

You should know that this dessert was introduced in Japan when the first Portuguese arrived in the country and today the "pão de ló" is a very popular dessert in Japan where it is called "pan".

The recipe here for pastry apprentices who read me 🙂

Toucinho do ceu[edit | edit source]

Some of the “conventuais doces” (desserts from convents) have names with a more or less religious connotation. This is the case of the dessert: “Toucinho do céu” which means “fat from the sky”.

This Portuguese dessert is made with almonds and… get ready… pork fat. Curious, isn't it?!? It was created by the nuns of the convent of Santa Clara de Guimarães, in the north of the country. It is a very popular Portuguese dessert. The name does not necessarily attract but it is delicious!

Sericaia[edit | edit source]

It is a very soft dessert from Alentejo (magnificent region under Lisbon). It is one of the essential "doces conventuais" (desserts from convents) with the marked presence of eggs and cinnamon. One of the rules to follow to make this Portuguese dessert is that cracks must form during cooking. If you go to Alentejo, you can't miss this Portuguese dessert, you can find it everywhere!

Tentúgal Pastel[edit | edit source]

The “Pastel de Tentúgal” is a kind of small crunchy ballotin filled with eggs. What makes this dessert so tasty is the very very thin (0.15mm) and crunchy dough.

As you can imagine, I told you that this dessert was "stuffed with eggs" and therefore you will not be surprised if I tell you that it was born in the convent da Nossa senhora da natividade in Tentúgal in the 16th century. This dessert is “protected” by the Indicação Geográfica Protegida (IGP), which explains why it can only be produced in the region of Coimbra. This is the specialty of the small towns of Tentúgal and Montemor-o-Velho.

Ovos moles[edit | edit source]

This Portuguese dessert is typical of the Aveiro region (south of Porto). It was created at the convent of Jesus da Ordem Dominicana feminina, which is now the Museum of Aveiro.

The "ovos moles" include a dough with egg yolks and sugar wrapped in a kind of host. The shape of these little sweet treats is very often inspired by the marine world with the shape of a shell or a fish.

Like the “Pastel de Tentúgal”, the “ovos moles” are “protected” and can only be produced in the Aveiro region. It is the first Portuguese dessert to have its recipe protected. The “ovos moles” of Aveiro generate 5 million euros per year!

General Dessert Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Portuguese Translation
o brownie brownies
a torta de maçã apple pie
o bolo cake
o bolo de cenoura carrot cake
a bala candy
o cheesecake cheesecake
o chocolate chocolate
o / a mousse de chocolate chocolate mousse
o bolo de chocolate chocolate cake
as bolachas / os biscoitos cookies
o crepe crepe
o donuts donuts
a salada de frutas fruit salad
o sorvete ice cream
a gelatina jello
o bolo de limão lemon cake
o bolinho muffins
o merengue meringue

Videos[edit | edit source]

Portuguese Christmas Desserts: 5 Essential Sweet Recipes![edit | edit source]

Fatias Douradas recipe | Portuguese Christmas dessert[edit | edit source]

Filhós de Natal | Portuguese Christmas Recipe[edit | edit source]

Other Lessons[edit | edit source]


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