A friend’s mother, Linda Dunn, an accomplished painter living and working on the Central Coast of California, emailed me the other day asking for a dessert recipe for a potluck Brazilian-themed party she was going to attend. I immediately thought of manjar, a simple and easy to make dessert I used to eat when a kid.
But what is it? Manjar is a kind of pudding made with milk, corn starch and some natural flavoring. My favorite has always been coconut with prune sauce. I have had manjar with other combinations of flavors in the past; such as guava and coconut, raisins with wine and coconut, figs, passion fruit or strawberries; but my favorite is really this one.
Manjar de Côco com Ameixas
3 &1/2 cups whole milk
8 tbsp sugar
2 cups coconut milk
7 tbsp corn starch
1 Bundt cake pan, lightly greased with canola or any flavorless oil
1 ½ cup pitted prunes
6 tbsp sugar
1 & ½ cups water
2 inch cinnamon stick
Mix pudding ingredients together in a pan. Set heat to medium and cook pudding until it thickens to a polenta consistency. Lower the temperature to minimum and simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring it at all times. Transfer mixture to greased Bundt cake pan. Cover with greased plastic film. Let it cool. Turn it upside down onto a nice platter. Refrigerate.
Place dried plums, cinnamon, cloves, sugar and water in a pan. Cook until prunes are soft and the liquid turns syrupy. Discard cinnamon stick and cloves. Let cool. Pour over pudding.
It can be served chilled or at room temperature.
This is super simple and a popular dessert that Brazilians adore.