Corn Pudding from Brazil
The Festas Juninas are fast approaching, and no celebration would be complete without curau. Creamy, sweet, and refreshing, this corn pudding is both delicious and very simple to make.
Like many festivals in Brazil, the Festas Juninas have their roots in Catholicism. Also known as the Festas de São João, the celebrations are meant to honor John the Baptist and thank him for the rainy season. The festas are likewise an homage to rural traditions and incorporate various costumes, food, and music.
The Festas coincide with Brazil’s second harvest of sweet corn, so it is no surprise that corn-based dishes feature heavily during the celebrations. Popcorn, cornmeal cakes, and sweet corn pudding are especial favorites and pair beautifully with a warm glass of spiced quentao (Brazilian mulled wine).
Corn in Brazil
Along with products like coffee, beef, rice, and sugar, corn is one of Brazil’s most important crops in terms of exports. In fact, after the US and China, it is the third largest producer of sweet corn in the world.
Most producers of corn, including the US, have one main crop per season. Brazil, however, is able to harvest three separate crops in different regions and at different times of the year.
- The first crop is planted in the Southern region of Brazil between September and October. It is harvested between February and May. This crop is the highest yielding of the three, producing about 100 bushels per acre on average. Once the corn of the first crop has been harvested, it is typically rotated with wheat.
- The second corn crop in Brazil is called safrinha, meaning “little harvest” in Portuguese. This is planted in the Midwest after the soybeans have been processed, usually between the months of January and April. It is harvested between June and August and constitutes Brazil’s largest crop in terms of exports, although overall yields are typically smaller than the first crop.
- The third Brazilian corn crop was not officially recognized until 2018. There is a smaller but appreciable yield in the North and Northeast region of the country, which is planted from April to September and harvested between October and December.
Unsurprisingly, corn is a key ingredient in many traditional Brazilian dishes, from cornmeal cake at breakfast to savory pamonhas stuffed with sausage or beef. This corn pudding recipe also incorporates another favorite Brazilian ingredient: sweetened condensed milk.
How to Make Brazilian Sweet Corn Pudding (Curau de Milho)
12 oz fresh corn kernels* (about 8 medium-sized ears)
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1.5 tablespoons butter
¼ tsp salt
- Put the fresh corn kernels and whole milk in a blender and blend until well combined.
- Pass the blended corn and milk mixture through a large sieve to remove any pulp.
- Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Put your corn and milk mixture into the pot, along with your butter, condensed milk, and salt.
- Cook over medium heat (stirring occasionally) until the mixture is thickened, with a creamy, pudding-like consistency. This should take 20-30 minutes.
- Pour the corn pudding into serving cups and chill for at least one hour.
- Dust with ground cinnamon before serving.
Celebrate with Texas de Brazil
Bring the Festas Juninas right to your door with one of Texas de Brazil’s hand-curated butcher boxes. Our online Grill Packages feature premium cuts of picanha, pork chops, rack of lamb, spicy Brazilian sausage, and more. Upgrade your barbecue game and visit our Butcher Shop to see what we have available for your next cookout.