Portuguese Delights: Arbutus or “Tree Strawberry” Cream

By Friday, December 16, 2011 Permalink 0
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by Gerês

I love to go to Gerês in autumn: The warm colors of the leaves. The tranquility of the surroundings and the breathtaking landscape always take me to another dimension, hard to define in only words. I lose myself in those glorious woods; I lose track of time too.

I take my time walking, enjoying nature’s generosity and gathering mushrooms and arbutus, also known as “tree strawberries”. And this year I was happy to discover that the arbutus trees were covered with vibrant yellow, red, and orange berries, most of them ready to be picked and eaten. They have a delicious sweet/tart taste and a singular texture. Soft but with very small pips, that give them a tiny bit of crunch, and perfect when dipped and baked in a smooth cream. They remind me of my care-free childhood in the hills of Gerês, when only the present existed and every moment had a magical aura.

When I returned home, I still had all these tastes and scents floating in my mind and I wanted to make them into some delicious concrete delight instead of just a memory. Once more, I found myself pottering in the kitchen, cooking a smooth fruity cream made out of memories.

Recipe

Ingredients

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Butter
5 eggs
200 g caster sugar
600 ml whole milk
150 ml single cream
2 tbs potato starch
150 g arbutus fruit
 
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  2. Butter 7 to 8 ramekins.
  3. Beat the eggs with sugar until fluffy and pale.
  4. Mix the milk with cream and add it to the potato starch, little by little, preventing any lumps.
  5. Add milk and cream mixture to the egg mixture.
  6. Fill the ramekins with the cream mixture, up to 1/3 high, and drop a few arbutus berries in each ramekin.
  7. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
  8. Remove from the oven. Let cool.
  9. Eat at room temperature.
  • Papos de anjo: A Portuguese Convent Sweet
    600 ml whole milk
    150 ml single cream
    2 tbs potato starch
    150 g arbutus fruit
     
    Preparation
    1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
    2. Butter 7 to 8 ramekins.
    3. Beat the eggs with sugar until fluffy and pale.
    4. Mix the milk with cream and add it to the potato starch, little by little, preventing any lumps.
    5. Add milk and cream mixture to the egg mixture.
    6. Fill the ramekins with the cream mixture, up to 1/3 high, and drop a few arbutus berries in each ramekin.
    7. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
    8. Remove from the oven. Let cool.
    9. Eat at room temperature.
    • Papos de anjo: A Portuguese Convent Sweet
    • Food Art: Azulejos 2, food photography by Mónica Pinto
      600 ml whole milk
      150 ml single cream
      2 tbs potato starch
      150 g arbutus fruit
       
      Preparation
      1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
      2. Butter 7 to 8 ramekins.
      3. Beat the eggs with sugar until fluffy and pale.
      4. Mix the milk with cream and add it to the potato starch, little by little, preventing any lumps.
      5. Add milk and cream mixture to the egg mixture.
      6. Fill the ramekins with the cream mixture, up to 1/3 high, and drop a few arbutus berries in each ramekin.
      7. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
      8. Remove from the oven. Let cool.
      9. Eat at room temperature.
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2 Comments
  • pami sami
    December 18, 2011

    Amazing! I love your recipes! As a kid, I used to eat the fruits just plain and fresh, directly from the tree/ bush! mnhami

    • Jonell Galloway
      December 20, 2011

      I’d love to try them. We don’t have them in Switzerland.

      I’m glad you love our recipes. We work very hard to provide interesting, original recipes that are not too time-consuming, i.e. for modern people on the go!

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