done1

Vavó’s Portuguese Stovetop Pudding (Vavó’s Papas)

Para a alma da minha Vavó…

done2Olinda DaPonte Moniz Mota would have turned 99 years old this month.  My Vavó moved to the United States and settled in Fall River, Massachusetts with her husband and three children when she was just about 50 years old in search of more opportunity for her children.  Can you imagine up and moving your entire life at 50 years old?  It is hard for me to fathom leaving a home where all my friends and family had been for generations to move to a country where I don’t know the language, have no job, no real set plan.  Sure there were some family and friends who had crossed the vast Atlantic and settled here, but you have to admit it is quite a leap of faith.

One thing that really rooted my Vavó home was the food.  And I would have to say this dish was one of her favorites.  On any given morning, I could arrive at my grandparent’s home and find my Vavó settled on the sofa with a cup of tea and a plate of Papas.  It was her breakfast of choice. She used to love it when I would come and make it for her, as I did from time to time as she got older.  This is my version of my Vavó’s Papas.

Two cups of whole milk... I am using lactose free milk here which is fine too.

Two cups of whole milk… I am using lactose free milk here which is fine too.

My Vavó had a sweet tooth… this is 1/4 cup of sugar. If you don’t like your Papas terribly sweet, reduce this to 1/8 cup.

Separate out your egg yolk from your white. Add the white to your morning omelet or something, you won’t need it here. Although, my Vavó used to use the whole egg because she didn’t like to waste… but, it’s better to discard the white (or like I said, use it in something else)

Now you are left with just the yolk. You will want this ready to go, because when it’s time to add it in, it needs to be done pronto.

Measure out two slightly heaping tablespoons of corn starch…. This is not corn flour or corn meal… but starch.

Mix your milk and corn starch together before turning on your burner to medium heat… You will get no lumps this way.

I love this wisk… It’s my gravy/pudding wisk… If you make either fairly often, I would highly recommend picking one up. If not, a regular wisk will do here.

Add in your sugar once your milk mixture thickens up a bit. Continue wisking constantly.

Add in your egg and have your wisk at the ready.

Wisk in the egg yolk rather aggressively… You don’t want to leave chance for your egg to cook before it is incorporated.

Allow the papas to boil while continuing to wisk for a good minute or so.

Allow the papas to boil while continuing to wisk for a good minute or so.

My Vavó would have loved these plates with their pretty flowers. It is important that your plate have a good rim to it. (Plates are Butterfly Meadow by Lenox)

Gently pour liquid onto the plate until it just comes up the rim of your plate.

Gently pour liquid onto the plate until it just comes up the rim of your plate.

My Vavó was always sure to have a bottle of cinnamon sugar on hand. This makes the perfect sprinkle on the hot Papas... the sugar will melt in and become slightly crisp while the cinnamon provides the perfect contrast.

My Vavó was always sure to have a bottle of cinnamon sugar on hand. This makes the perfect sprinkle on the hot Papas… the sugar will melt in and become slightly crisp while the cinnamon provides the perfect contrast.  At this point allow the Papas to cool slightly to set.

done1

Recipe for Vavó’s Portuguese Stovetop Pudding (Vavó’s Papas):

(serves 2)

2 cups whole milk

2 Tbs. corn starch, slightly heaping

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

cinnamon sugar for topping

Directions:

Combine milk and cornstarch in a small sauce pan.  Bring to boil over medium heat wisking constantly.  When mixture has thickened add in sugar, continue wisking.  After about 1-2 minutes add in egg yolk, wisking extra fast so as the yolk does not cook before combined.  Pour out onto a plate immediately and top with cinnamon sugar.  Allow to cool just slightly to set.

Serve warm, enjoy!

*note: this recipe is gluten-free.

**note: this recipe can be made with lactose-free milk.

13 thoughts on “Vavó’s Portuguese Stovetop Pudding (Vavó’s Papas)

    • Stacy says:

      Yes, in my family we have always used egg… it brings a wonderful richness to the dish… My grandmother used to use the whole egg, I omit the white… I hope you enjoy!

  1. Laura Basaloco-Lapo says:

    Hi there. This papas reminded of my childhood in the Northeast of continental Portugal. My godmother used to make it for both of us. It tasted so good! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
    Vavó is written Vovó. That means, as you know, grandmother. Vovô means grandfather.

    • Stacy says:

      I’m so glad this recipe brought back memories, that is the intent… Most of the Portuguese recipes I post come straight from my childhood as well 🙂
      Did I miss an accent somewhere on my Vavo? (For some reason I am not allowed to use the accent in this program I am using to respond to your comment)

  2. Jeanell da Silva says:

    My Vovoa and my mother used to make this for us at least once a week it brings back loving memories of my Vavoa thank you for posting the recipe she did it the same way

  3. Pingback: ray ban
  4. Sara Diogo says:

    I make this for my daughter as a bedtime snack. Would I be able to make it without the egg since my son can’t have eggs? Thank you in advance.

    • Stacy says:

      You can make it without egg… but it would not have the richness it needs. Is there something you normally replace egg with?

  5. azoreseuropa says:

    Yes, where I came from. Love it and still loving it today. Thanks to my parents for moved to America. Now, I am over 40 and I am thinking about moving back to Azores or Portugal. My parents still make food culture but the taste isn’t the same as over there. I missed my real food culture, culture, and people there. I visited my relative and friends there almost every year. Its time for me to moving. America isn’t for me and its not a dream that people thought of. Not true. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  6. Mira says:

    I am also a Mota from Sao Miguel, Azores. Could we be related? Probably not…but it’s an interesting thought! Thanks for this blog. It brings back such good memories for me of my own vavo and the papas she used to make.

    Blessings to you.

    • Stacy says:

      Well hello! My grandfather (God rest his soul) was from a little village called Lombinha de Maya. He is were the Mota name comes from. Fernando Mota. He had a special nickname, I will have to ask my mom what it was again!

Comments are closed.