Torrija

Fried Milk Pudding Dusted with Cinnamon and Honey

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8–12

Appears in

MoVida

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

Torrija is extreme French toast — beautiful, golden slices of fried bread soaked in a cream and citrus infusion and slathered in honey and sherry syrup.

This is Easter food. Every year mum makes a huge batch of torrijas and piles them up high, her intention being that there will be enough to last all through Easter. But every year my sister and I, my dad and other family members eat them up and the pile is gone by the afternoon. Mum makes a jarabe (syrup) that is intense and sticky. I prefer mine a little less sticky. If you are making these for yourself, please feel free to bend the rules and eat with some vanilla ice cream and a little glass of Pedro Ximénez sherry.

Ingredients

  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) milk
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) pouring (whipping) cream
  • rind of 2 oranges, cut into large strips
  • rind of 2 lemons, cut into large strips
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 loaves 2-day-old pasta dura or other firm crusty bread, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick slices
  • 480 g (1 lb 1 oz/1⅓ cups) honey
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) oloroso sherry
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 180 g ( oz/¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar, extra
  • 6 eggs
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter

Method

Put the milk, cream, orange and lemon rind, sugar and two of the cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan over low heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm (this should take 30–45 minutes).

Strain the lukewarm milk mixture into a shallow bowl, large enough to hold all the bread. Soak the bread in the milk for 30 minutes.

In another saucepan make the jarabe by heating the honey, sherry, remaining cinnamon sticks and 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water over high heat. Just before boiling point, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. The syrup should still be quite runny, but thickened slightly.

Make cinnamon sugar by sifting the cinnamon and extra sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over low–medium heat. Lift the bread from the milk and drain for a few seconds before placing it into the beaten egg. Cover the bread very well, as this will form a seal and keep the flavoured milk and cream in the bread when fried.

Cook the bread, in two batches, for 2 minutes each side, or until golden, adding more butter as needed. Remove the bread from the pan and briefly drain on paper towel. Dust the fried bread with cinnamon sugar. Place in a non-metallic tray in a single layer and cover with the jarabe while still warm.

When ready to serve, pile the torrijas high on a serving plate and spoon over a little of the residual jarabe.