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The Hirshon Portuguese Christmas 'Lamprey' Dessert - Lampreia de Ovos

The Hirshon Portuguese Christmas ‘Lamprey’ Dessert – Lampreia de Ovos

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 900 g sugar
  • 3 dl water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (TFD addition to recipe, optional but I like it)
  • 1 tsp. almond extract (TFD addition to recipe, optional but I like it)
  • 300 g almonds (peeled and grated)
  • 50 egg yolks
  • 2 crystallized cherries for the eyes
  • Marcona almonds for the teeth
  • ***
  • Fios de Ovos:
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 lbs. sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ***
  • White icing to decorate


  1. Heat the sugar with 3 dl of water and let boil until the syrup bubbles (thread stage, around 103° centigrade).
  2. Break 36 eggs to obtain the yolks; strain the yolks. Add the extracts to the syrup and stir carefully.
  3. Two by two, spoon the egg yolks into the syrup; they will form a kind of flat egg ‘sheet’. Remove the egg ‘sheet’ and drain on a sieve. Repeat the operation until you have used all the 36 egg yolks.
  4. Peel and grate the almonds and add to the syrup left after you have finished the egg yolk operation. Stir well and add the other 14 egg yolks. Take again to the heat, stirring continuously, until you see the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove from heat and give to this egg paste the shape of a rolled lamprey. Cover with the egg sheets.
  6. To imitate the teeth, use marcona almonds; for the eyes, use 2 crystallized cherries.
  7. Let it brown in a hot oven for a few minutes, imitating the spotted skin of the lamprey. Alternatively, instead of putting it into the oven, you can also imitate the spots with a red-hot iron or butane torch.
  8. Once out of the oven, decorate with white icing in a similar fashion to the picture accompanying the recipe.
  9. For the Fios de Ovos:
  10. Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan. Put in on medium heat and let it cook until it reaches a syrup consistency. Stir it occasionally.
  11. Place the egg yolks into a strainer with a long tip at the end.
  12. Slowly drizzle the yolks into the sugar syrup. They will cook as you pour them in.
  13. When they become cooked remove them from the sugar syrup onto a strainer.
  14. Repeat the process until you run out of yolks. Add extra water to the syrup if it becomes too thick.
  15. Separate the strands with a fork and drizzle with remaining syrup to keep the threads from getting dry.
  16. Once you are done, they are ready to serve as a garnish around the ‘lamprey’!
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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