Chestnuts and the Portuguese ? The ones that know Lisbon or other Portugal cities during the winter probably will refer that one of the characteristics of these cities is roasted chestnuts street vendors. Nowadays this is the most common way of eating chestnuts in Portugal, however the chestnut history in Portugal is very old and rich…
Researchers believe that the chestnuts were brought to Portugal by the romans, on the 3 rd century BC, during the Roman Iberian Peninsula conquest. Since then the chestnuts started to have a really important role on the Portuguese feeding.
The Portuguese used to thicken soups with chestnuts, this food was also the most common side dish for meat and game dishes and were the base for a big number of sweets.
It was also common to ground chestnuts into flour in order to bake bread, one of the most important foods at that time. However the chestnuts important role started to decay with other cereals growth and farming, nevertheless the chestnut final blow was during the 1530 years when the potatoes arrived to Europe, brought by the Spanish.
Potatoes started to substitute the chestnuts in a huge amount of recipes. At the same time a huge disease known as the “Ink disease” decimated a vast number of chestnuts trees, reducing the chestnut production.
The Portuguese didn’t kept a chestnut cookery book partly because the first recipes publications just appear after the chestnut abandonment.
Chestnuts are more consumed as a snack, we can boil them with fennel, or roast them with a generous amount of sea salt.
We also cook them as an aside dish usually in special occasion, per example garnishing a good piece of pork loin with a chestnut pure or using them as filling for the Christmas turkey.
These days the chestnuts are also valued in the Portuguese traditional sweets and that’s why we would like to share this Chestnut Pudding with you.
Chestnut Pudding Recipe
- Chestnut pure : 6,5 dl
- Sugar: 6,5 dl
- Egg yolks : 6,5 dl
- Milk : 1 L
- Chestnuts boiling water: 3,5 dl
- Butter to taste
Boil the chestnuts in water (option add same fennel). Peel and turn the chestnuts into pure. Beat the sugar with the egg yolks until you have a creamy and even texture.
Add to the egg yolk mixture the pure, the milk and the water. Whisk slowly in order to blend all the ingredients avoiding bubbling. Grease a pudding pan with butter, put the mixture inside the pudding pan and cover it.
Cook it in water bath at 180ºC for one hour. After cooked unmount the pudding after cool it down.
Discover other desserts recipes at Cooking Lisbon website.