pudim do abade chef miguel oliveira pudim do abade de priscos by Miguel Oliveira

Made in Lisboa with the flavour of the North

This isn’t the first time that Miguel Oliveira and his pudim do Abade de Priscos has graced the Time Out Market. A few years ago, when his version of this classic dessert was making a splash on tables around the country, he came into the Time Out Academy to teach people how to make it. The recipe used by Oliveira is no secret: it is composed of water, eggs, sugar, lemon, bacon fat from the Bisaro pig, and port wine.

The original recipe, created by Manuel Joaquim Machado Rebelo, the priest known as the abbot of Priscos, has not been jettisoned, but Oliveira thought that the pudim that was being served in most places failed to do justice to this dessert classic. So he took it to another level.

He started by doing some research into the history of the dish, which was originally simply known as pudim de toucinho (bacon pudding). Then, for six months, he shut himself away in his kitchen, which he turned into a laboratory, to test various ingredients and combinations. He tried out various types of bacon fat, waters with different degrees of minerality, the amount and thickness of the sugar syrup, among other experiments. The result was a pudim abade de Priscos that kept the tradition alive but whose flavours have been updated for the 21st century. Without altering the amount of sugar, he managed to create a pudding that was less sweet that the original by perfecting the syrup, and boosted the aromatic flavours of the dish with the citrus fruit, port wine and cinnamon.

It was after he won the ‘A mesa do Portugueses’ (Portuguese table) competition in 2014 that Oliveira’s pudim became famous and what had been no more than the passion of a self-taught cook became a big deal. He started receiving orders from friends and family, and then from leading restaurants, and the pudim took on a life of its own.

Until a few months ago going to one of those restaurants was among the few ways to sample this divine dessert. Recently an atelier with shop attached opened in Campo de Ourique where Oliveira devotes his time to preparing this much-loved Portuguese sweet.

“Making this pudim is a very intuitivo and even esoteric process,” confesses Oliveira, who can spend as much as 18 hours at a time on the job. “In my kitchen there is silence and classical music. Then I put my five senses to work – there are no machines nor industrial equipment, everything is done by hand in copper pans.”

In the space that he has now opened in the Time Out Market, pudim do abade is available in four formats: slice (€6), mini (€6), Pudim Box (€36), Mini Box (4 mini-puddings in a box, €24). From August the kiosk in the Market will also have his famous doughnuts made with a light, brioche-style dough and filled with pudim do abade. Perfect to celebrate high summer!