6 egg whites
1 can condensed milk
1 pint of heavy cream
1 package of Bolacha Maria (crushed to look like sawdust)
Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they start to form peaks (em castelo). In another bowl mix the heavy cream until it gets firm. Once firm, mix in the condensed milk. Fold the heavy cream / condensed milk mixture into the beaten egg whites. Beat until everything is well mixed.
Put a light coating of the crushed Bolacha Maria in the bottom of glass bowl / container. Add a layer of the egg/heavy cream/ condensed milk mixture (half of the mixture). Next, add another 1/2 of the remaining crushed Bolacha Maria. Add a second layer of the remaining egg/heavy cream/ condensed milk mixture. Top it off with the rest of the Bolacha Maria that is left. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. This is a good dessert to make a day ahead.
ARROZ DOCE A MODA DE COIMBRA / SWEET RICE
1/2 cup of medium grain white rice, rinsed
1/2 cup water
2 tbs of butter
1 piece of fresh lemon rind
6 cups hot milk
1/2 cup sugar
Add milk and lemon rind into a large pan. Bring milk to a boil and then set heat to low.
In a separate pan, water and butter and bring to a boil. Add rice and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
Transfer the lemon rind in the heated milk over to the pan with the rice. Start adding the heated milk to the rice little by little and stir often. (I like to use a large soup ladle to transfer the milk). Continue to add large spoonfuls to the rice one by one and allow to thicken slightly before adding another batch of the heated milk. Continue doing this until all of the milk has been added to the rice. This process takes approximately one hour. Stir often to make sure the rice does not stick.
After adding the last batch of milk, add the sugar to the rice, bring rice to a boil and stir. Continue to simmer until the rice and milk thicken to a consistency similar to that of oatmeal.
Remove lemon rind and pour sweet rice onto a large, shallow serving plate. Spread the rice flat and allow to cool.
Pinch ground cinnamon between fingers and make the pattern of your choice on the sweet rice. Crisscross patterns are traditional.
Serve at room temperature and refrigerate the uneaten portion. (Personally I like sweet rice best when it is still warm. Even after it has been in the refrigerator, I like to warm it up in the microwave).
NOTE: River brand medium grain white rice is recommended for this recipe.
BISCOITOS / PORTUGUESE BISCUITS
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 stick of butter
3 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Melt the butter and allow to cool a little. In a bowl, mix the sugar and melted butter together well with a fork. Add the eggs and blend well with fork or whisk.
In a separate bowl, add the flour and baking powder and blend well.
Add the flour/ baking powder to the egg, sugar mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until dough starts to form. With your hands work the dough so that it is well blended. The dough should not stick to your hands, if it does you may need to add just a little more flour.
On the counter top or cutting board, knead the dough a little and then scoop out 1 heaping tablespoon of the dough. Using your hands or countertop, roll each tablespoon of dough into a snake-like shape approximately 5-6 inches long and 1/2 wide. Make a circle shape with the dough, overlap the ends and pinch the two ends together.
Place the biscuits on the cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until they start to turn a golden color.
This recipe makes approximately 18 -24 biscuits.
TARTE DE AMENDOA / ALMOND TART
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick of butter
6 tbs of milk
1 cup of sliced or slivered almonds
Grease a tart tin with nonstick spray and sprinkle with flour. Cream the butter with the sugar. To this, add the eggs and flour and mix well. Spread the mixture into the tart tin and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until the center looks spongy and is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Mix the sugar, butter, milk and almond slices in a sauce pan. Heat the mixture up until it starts to boil and turns into an opaque tan color. Spread the topping over the cooked dough and return to the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for at least 10 minutes or until it turns a golden brown color and the topping is no longer bubbling. Allow to cool before serving.
SUSPIROS / MERENGUE COOKIES
3 egg whites
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until mixture forms stiff peaks. Add lemon juice.
Line a baking sheet with foil or wax paper and add non-stick spray or coat with butter. Drop merengue mixture by spoonfuls one by one onto baking sheet. Allow enough space between each as they will grow as they bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes or until edges start to turn a light brown. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before removing