Ambrosia

I have been looking for a recipe for this classical Brazilian dessert. It is aptly named Ambrosia, the food of the goods. There is another American dessert with the same name, but this one very different. It comes from Portugal originally, but this is the Brazilian version. Very easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients

1 liter whole milk
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 lime (just the juice)
2 cinnamon sticks
12 cloves (more or less to taste, I like a strong clove flavor)

Preparation

Add the sugar to a large pot and put on medium-high heat. Keep stirring until the sugar starts to barely caramelize. If you like a stronger caramel flavor, leave on longer.

Reduce heat to medium and add milk, cinnamon sticks and cloves. The sugar will harden to large clump. That is ok, it will eventually dissolve. Let the milk simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the milk has thickened a bit. Stir occasionally. Keep an eye on the pot as whole milk has the nasty habit of boiling over. If it starts to rise, reduce heat a bit. It should simmer, but not boil.

In the meantime, crack the eggs into a bowl and beat until homogeneous. If you like a slightly more subtle taste, separate the eggs and strain the yolks to remove the skin around them. Combine the yolks and whites and beat until homogeneous. Add the lime juice and blend in. No need to froth it, you just want to have a nice, uniform mix.

Add the egg/lime mixture to the milk and gently stir a couple times. The lime juice will make the milk curd. That is exactly what you want. Let simmer for about 1 – 1.5 hrs until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir very gently every 10 – 15 mins. Be careful not to break the curds that have formed. It tastes the same, but velvety texture would go away. The whey will eventually become a caramel sauce.

Remove from the heat and take out the cinnamon sticks and cloves (the flavor will get a bit strong over time). Let cool and refrigerate for a couple hours.

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