We just left the month with many festivals in Brazil – the June Festivals (“festas juninas”) – the high point of which is the feast for St. John (June 24th). It’s a huge tradition the Northeastern region, with parties, dances, fireworks and other cultural displays. Since it is also the high point of the corn harvest in that region, corn dishes such as canjica, munguzá, pamonha among others are a common sight in the festivities of the month.
I’ve always found making those dishes quite hard (unless you can find one of the pre-cooked version in the supermarket, which are ok but not nearly as good as the originals). Often when I go to Brazil on vacations I bring some canjica and munguzá packets for a quick breakfast treat (which the kids love), but the pamonha has always eluded me. It’s hard to make, and it requires corn husks which we can’t find easily around here. But last week I found one recipe in a blog from another expat from my region living in the US (From Brazil to You) for a kind of pamonha which is baked, and I decided to give it a try.
One thing I liked about her recipe is that it was really quick to prepare – blend a few ingredients, mix some others, put in the oven. The kids even liked helping me with mixing the ingredients (and cracking the eggs, a challenge on its own :-), which made it more fun.
The end result – it turned out really good, although it really didn’t taste like the pamonha I remember having. The fact that I forgot to add one ingredient (sugar) probably didn’t help my case either ;-), but even though I don’t know whether to call it a proper “pamonha”, I’ll definitely be making it again in the future!
- 10 oz. (about 2/3 of a can) of sweet corn
- 3 large eggs
- 3.5 fl. oz. coconut milk
- 1 oz. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 14oz. can condensed milk
- 5 oz. heavy cream
- 3.5 oz. dehydrated shredded coconut (I had actually tried making it with the non-dehydrated, sweetened flakes a week before, but it didn’t turn out as good)
- [the original recipe asked for 1/4 cup sugar, but I forgot it, and actually liked the way it came out, so your call whether to use it or not]
- juice of 1/2 lime
- pinch of salt
- confectioner’s sugar for decoration
On a large blender, blend the corn, eggs, coconut milk and parmesan cheese until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients (except the confectioner’s sugar), stirring to combine well.
Grease a bread loaf pan with butter, then sprinkle some flour to help unmold the cake. Transfer the mix to the pan, and bake it in an oven pre-heated to 350ºF for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
After it cools, unmold it and serve warm, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.