Luso-Canadian, for those who are not aware is another way of saying “Portuguese-Canadian”, derived from the old Roman “Lusitania” for the Iberian Peninsula. It flows nicely, so I use it.
So, growing up, I naturally ate a tonne of Portuguese baked goods and desserts. Let’s face it – my family is chock full of glosos (Portuguese for people addicted to sweet things). We always have dessert – even if it means walking through a heatwave to the closest Baskin Robbins for my father can have his lifelong obsession of chocolate mousse royal.
And I never clued in, in years, that the bulk of Portuguese desserts are based on eggs. Lots of eggs. Like, really, a lot.
See, it happened in Portugal on day.
In 2011 I took the Boy to Portugal for the first time – a regular old meet the family, pray they make a good impression and hope he likes the climate type of visit (Promise, I will talk more about this in a further blogpost!). We were at the store, grabbing dinner and I told him to grab some dessert from the pastry counter (because we always have dessert, dammnit!) and meet me back at the butcher’s. He came back, thoroughly confused – everything in the pastry glass looked so .. eggy. He was Canadian – he was used to doughnuts (dawnuts, if in Portugal) filled with cream and jam. We may have those in Portugal but the majority of sweets are egg based, with some cream, and more likely some sort of citrus fruit.
It was then that I realized that my culture and countrymen were obsessed with egg-heavy, sugar laden desserts with a caloric ceiling in the thousands.
And it took a few years more but I accepted it … and learned how to make all those yummy desserts. Because, why not? Can’t fight hundreds of years of sugar and eggs in the blood right?
So here, my dear readers, I offer you a recipe for a Portuguese yummy that you can make at home, especially if you like eggs and sugar – and who doesn’t, amiright? 🙂
Pão de ló.
Now first – a primer. Essentally, Pão de ló is a Portuguese sponge cake. Usually. In my Dad’s hometown of Caldas, it turns out spongy on the outsides and creamy eggy sweetness in the middle that oozes out when you break into it. Heaven, my friends, heaven.
For more information on the history of this particular cake, see this post on Food 52 (the only English post I found). Essentially it was, like many other sweets, made in nunneries and monasteries, They were rather well fed, I suppose.
So here is my altered version of Pão de ló – i.e. one with slightly less eggs. And, just so you know – there are 15 egg yellows and a couple more eggs in the original. So, you’re welcome.