Sericá - Portuguese Traditional Dessert
Sericá (or Sericaia) is a traditional Portuguese dessert made of eggs, sugar, milk and cinnamon. It represents the Alentejo cuisine's typical skillfulness - achiving great results based only in centuries of convents' culinary wisdom and some ordinary ingredients. Sericá is a surprising and uncategorized... tart? It's usually served with ameixas d'Elvas (sugarplums from the city of Elvas).
Personal confessions - I've committed a couple of "sins" in this version: a) I didn't have limon zest so I used a vanilla pod and b) as I couldn't find any sugarplums, I've served mine alongside with this Melon and Orange Marmalade (if you're interested in the recipe, let me know). As my mom-in-law cannot have regular milk, I used soy 'milk' - and somehow the consistency was a bit different than usual.
250 grs sugar (I used only 200 due to soy milk)
125 ml water
400 ml whole milk (I used soy milk)
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
1 stick cinnamon
Zest d 1 lemon (I din't have any - I've used a vanilla pod cut in half, seeds separated)
6 eggs (separated)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
In a small saucepan, combine sugar with water. Set pan over moderate heat for 15 minutes. In another (bigger) saucepan, put cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and 2/3 of milk - use the rest to combine flour - whisk in and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just boils, about 10 minutes. Add sugar mixture, remove pan from heat and whisk in egg yolks, lightly beaten. Set aside to cool.
In large bowl using electric mixer, beat egg whites until fluffy. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla pod from cooled egg yolk mixture and discard. Gradually fold part of beaten whites into yolk mixture. Add remaining beaten whites and fold in gently but thoroughly until mixed together.
Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Use a ceramic pan (should be ceramic otherwise won't work!), put the mixture in and sift ground cinnamon over. Bake until center is set and cracks have formed on surface, about 35 minutes. (Sericá will fall slightly — this is to be expected)