The Abbot of Priscos flan (from Portuguese: Pudim Abade de Priscos) intriguing sweet combination of red wine, yolks and pork fat or bacon enveloped in caramel melds into the most sophisticated and complex flavor. This might just be the best dessert I’ve ever had!
The pudim Abade de Priscos reminds crème caramel flan, but this keto recipe is totally dairy-free/lactose-free: no milk, no cream, not even butter! The mix of egg yolks and fatback or bacon provides all of its sumptuous, creamy richness.
Abade de Priscos, the flan and the Abbot
The pudim Abade de Priscos is a conventual sweet named after its enlightened creator, the Abbot of the parish of Priscos, Father Manuel Rabelo. The man behind the flan lived in 19th century Portugal and used to cook for the King himself, being one of the most prominent chefs of his time.
The Abbot was not one for writing recipes, as he believed it’s the cook’s palate and hands that make the dish, not the list of ingredients. Luckily, he shared this one to be taught at a convent school, and the pudim Abade de Priscos lived on to be a finalist contender on the 7 Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy. It’s a sin the flan didn’t make the list. I mean… grilled sardines?? 🙄
Pork fatback or bacon fat: The original Pudim Abade de Priscos is made in Portugal with toucinho, which translates to English as fatback. Fatback is the lovely hard fat under the skin of the back (lombo) of the pig.
We first tasted (and fell in love with) fatback in Ukraine, where it’s called salo. In Italy, a similar product goes by the name of lardo – it might be easier to spot in grocery stores under these names.
If you can’t find locally, you can get fatback online. As an alternative, I suggest a really fatty, preferably non-smoked bacon. You don’t need the meat part for this recipe, so you can cut it away to use in other dishes.
Red wine or Port wine: Originally, the recipe for Abbot of Priscos flan asks for Port wine. Port wine is a very, VERY sweet fortified wine. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have sugar added! All the sweetness comes from the grapes. Still… it’s a lot of carbs.
So, in order to make the Abbot’s flan keto (and I mean keto: about 1 net carb per slice!) I subbed Port for a really dry, low-carb red wine. Choose a full-bodied wine that pairs well with dessert, like Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet or Syrah.
If you’re ok with the extra carbs, you can make the recipe with Port. But even with just plain red wine this Priscos flan is heavenly!
Allulose sweetener: Most keto sweeteners don’t caramelize as sugar does… To use erythritol and xylitol based sweeteners, you’d actually need to make a caramel sauce with butter, but this type of caramel won’t work for this recipe.
For the Portuguese keto Priscos flan, I can only recommend allulose for the caramel. Allulose not only tastes like sugar, it caramelizes like sugar. There’s no difference in method for making the caramel, or in the resulting texture or taste, from a real sugar caramel.
How to make
Here’s the LikeHotKeto instructions on how to make the Abbot of Priscos flan – it may seem like a lot of steps, but it’s fairly easy to follow through and oh so worth it!
You’ll first prepare the keto the caramel, then the fatback or bacon sweet syrup and finally the egg yolk and wine custard.
After you get some allulose, the method is really simple: just melt it and boil until it becomes caramel. If you have ever made caramel with sugar, it’s almost the same.
The only difference is that I find that allulose seems to harden faster than sugar, though, so you need to be fast to spread the caramel on the baking pan.
And by the way, I used a loaf pan but any type of pan that you use for pudding or flan could work for this recipe. Although traditionally, the Abade de Priscos flan is made in this Portuguese style mold. You might already have a steamed pudding mold, which is quite similar.
Fatback or bacon sweet syrup
As you can see in my hand below, the fatback used for Abbot of Priscos is quite different from bacon. Slice it as thinly as possible to maximize surface exposure to the boiling syrup and melt it faster. If using bacon instead, use only the fat part.
You can use different sweeteners for the sugar-free syrup, it doesn’t need to be allulose. I used xylitol, as it is ideal for custards. Erythritol could be used instead, but there’s always the risk of sweetener crystallization.
Then just add the pork fatback together with some lemon peel, cinnamon, keto sweetener and water and bring it to a rolling boil for a few minutes, until a fatty sweet syrup forms.
Yolk and wine custard
Did I say you’ll need 15 EGG YOLKS for this recipe? Don’t worry, you can use the egg whites to bake a keto pavlova, or this fluffy Molotof recipe (another Portuguese dessert!) Or, to starch your clothes, like the Abbot 😁
After separating your eggs, put the whites in the fridge, in a covered container. They will keep for a few days.
Mix the egg yolks with the red wine (or Port, if you wish). After the pork fat or bacon syrup has cooled down a bit, slowly add to the egg yolks and wine in a thin drizzle, while whisking by hand. The keto Portuguese flan batter is ready!
Use a fine mesh strainer to sieve the batter directly into the baking mold prepared with caramel. Cover tightly with a double-layer of foil, or parchment paper then foil.
I put the paper inside because I think it helps lessening the water condensation dripping onto the flan as it cooks, but this is mere conjecture.
If you are using a steamed pudding pan, you can obviously skip this part – just top it with the lid.
The keto Abade de Priscos flan is baked in a water bath (bain marie) in a medium oven for 1 hour. It will set as a firm custard, with a silky, sort of gelatinized texture.
Wait for it to cool before unmolding, and refrigerate for a few hours before indulging.
As any flan, the Abade de Priscos dessert needs to be kept refrigerated. This way, it will be good to serve for up to 4 days.
Before serving, make sure to spoon some of the keto caramel lazily pooling around the flan on top of the slice!
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