Food & Drink

Experiment in the kitchen with quindim, a sweet Brazilian custard

Made with only five ingredients, quindim looks harder to make than it is. (Alexandra Olsen photos)
Made with only five ingredients, quindim looks harder to make than it is. (Alexandra Olsen photos)
/

As I began conceptualizing recipes for this month’s column, images of impressive holiday dessert displays danced in my head. I wanted to share something sweet and decadent — that would not only taste delicious but also look the part of an edible holiday ornament.

The glistening, rich and bright yellow quindim (pronounced “king-jing”) popped into my head.

These single-portion baked desserts have an impressive sheen that make them just as decorative as they are sweet and delicious.

Historically, quindim is a testament to the ingenuity of African slaves in 17th century Brazil. They used the ingredients they had available to create countless traditional dishes that continue to make an everlasting impact on every facet of Brazilian food culture.

Quindim is not exclusive to the holiday season in Brazil.

I grew up eating quindim with my grandmother. She would strap me into the car as a little girl, we’d run some errands, have lunch and finish the day with a perfectly chilled and glistening quindim from Dona Ella’s bakery in my hometown of Santa Rosa, Brazil.

These are some of my most treasured childhood memories, worth revisiting during a season meant for reconnecting with the ones we love.

So, I developed this recipe with the help of familial guidance, research, trial and error, and a memory bank of trips to the bakery with my grandmother. There is nothing quite like quindim in American cuisine and I caution you that its baking process can be a bit more involved than a traditional Thanksgiving pie.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Like many Americans, I will not be sharing my Thanksgiving Day spread with quite as many family members this year. A difficult realization but, on the bright side, one that allows for more experimentation in the kitchen.

This could be the perfect year to try something new in addition to those tried-and-true favorites.

Follow Alexandra on Instagram, @FeedMeIowa, for more recipes and restaurant recommendations.

Quindim

2 whole eggs

5 egg yolks

1 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing tins

3 tablespoons shredded coconut

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place two whole eggs and five yolks into a sieve and strain into a bowl, mixing with a spoon until most of the egg is through the sieve. Do not skip this step. This will remove the yolk skin and ensure a less “eggy” flavor in the final product. In a blender, combine sifted eggs, sugar, butter, shredded coconut, water and vanilla extract. Blend until mixture is homogeneous. It’s OK if there are some coconut bits still visible.

Grease a cupcake tin with butter. If you have one available, use a silicone tin.

Fill six of the tins with the mixture.

Place tin in a larger baking pan and pour hot water into the large pan to create a water bath.

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, placing the cupcake tin in the refrigerator overnight to cool.

Gently run a knife along the edges of the tin before attempting to unmold. Place the tin into warm water if you are having trouble removing the quindims.

Serve in decorative paper cupcake tins.

Source: Alexandra Olsen

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.