Serradura: A Portuguese Dessert Loved By Goans, Recipe Inside

Although having a purringly Portuguese name like serradura, this delicacy actually has nothing in common with its, oh, how shall we phrase this, slightly off-putting English appellation of sawdust custard. Layers of whipped cream, condensed milk, and crumbled cookies make it delicate, creamy, and tongue-tingling. 

In Portuguese, the word "serradura" truly means "sawdust." It has a "sawdust" texture since this dish uses powdered biscuits, primarily Marie/Maria biscuits. Also, the biscuit that is being discussed here is not the bread as it is generally recognised in the US. A biscuit is merely a cookie both in Europe and India. 


A Portuguese dish called serradura made headlines in Macau. It is a highly popular dessert that is readily available in many Macau restaurants and bakeries. Serradura is regarded as one of the must-try foods in Macau for this reason. While Portugal was Macau's colonial ruler, it was first introduced to the city. Hong Kong and many Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations also have it. Given that Goa was formerly a Portuguese colony, this dessert is also very well-liked there. Whether it was brought to Goa directly by the Portuguese or via Macau is unknown. But one thing is certain—this luscious custard is quite easy to make even though it appears fancy. 

Here’s a recipe 


1 cup/1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream 

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, adjusted to desired sweetness 

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract 

16-18 Marie biscuits, Cherries or chocolate shavings for garnishing, if needed 


Place the Marie biscuits in a food processor or blender, and then pulse until they are reduced to a powder that resembles sawdust. The chilled heavy cream should be added to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, or you can use a hand blender. Beat the mixture at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the condensed milk and vanilla essence now, and beat until firm peaks form. Avoid overbeating or you will produce butter. Pour the whipped cream mixture into a serving glass. For a neater finish, use a piping bag. Top with the crushed Marie biscuit powder. Continue layering with the cream and Marie biscuit powder. Finish with the cream layer. To ensure a firm setting, sprinkle part of the powder from the crushed Marie biscuits on top and place in the refrigerator for about 4-6 hours. Serve chilled with cherries or chocolate shavings as garnish.