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Pudim de vinho do Porto

Port Flan

Portuguese pudim is normally made in a ring-shaped pudim tin.  If you have no such thing use an 9-inch cake pan in which case you will need only ½ cup sugar for the caramel.  If possible use real cinnamon for this rather than cassia which is more commonly sold in the U.S. as cinnamon.  You can buy this in Hispanic stores under the name canela.  The recipe is adapted from António Silva, Doçaria popular portuguesa.

Serves 8-10

2/3 cup sugar (for the caramel)

2 cups whole milk

1 lemon

1 cinnamon stick, coarsely crushed

1 1/2 cups sugar for the pudim

1 tablespoon corn starch

½ cup Ruby port

1/3 cup orange juice

zest of 1 medium orange

8 large egg yolks at room temperature

4 large eggs at room temperature

1. To make the caramel, add 1/4 cup water and the 2/3 cup sugar to a small heavy saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat until the sugar turns an amber color.

2. Immediately pour the caramel into the pudim tin or 9-inch cake pan and using pot holders, turn it until the bottom and sides of the pan are well coated.  Set aside to cool.  Any parts of the pan that are not coated with the caramel should be greased lightly with butter.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

4. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind from a lemon.  Combine, in a small saucepan, with the milk and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil over gentle heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.  Set aside at least 10 minutes for the flavors to infuse.  Strain.

5. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the Port, orange juice, and zest and stir to combine.  Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks until smooth.  Stirring continuously, pour the milk mixture into the eggs.

6. Place the caramel-lined cake pan in a small roasting pan.  Pour the custard into the caramel-lined pan.  Fill the roasting pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Set in the oven and bake 45-60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Cool and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

7. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan.  Place a serving platter upside down on top of the cake pan and while holding the two firmly together, invert quickly.  Serve immediately.