The temperature dropped on the last days of August and it seems like fall has come early in Pamplona. Normally on cold days like these I crave for churros con chocolate.
Yesterday on my last day of tutoring, leche frita was brought up in the conversation I was having with my tutor. She said it’s a typical dessert here in the north. That talk about leche frita had me craving for it the whole day. I have substituted it with churros con chocolate from a nearby cafetería. It staved off some of the craving but I know I had to do it the following day; I cannot let this drag on!
This is where the internet comes in and helps me. I love modern technology this way. The ingredients are pretty simple: milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon peel, corn starch. I have all the ingredients except for the cinnamon stick so I went to Eroski that afternoon. The plan was to do it the following Tuesday morning (today).
Leche frita translates as fried milk because well, it entails frying of milk. Well since milk is liquid it cannot be fried that way so yes you guess it, it has to be solidified first.
My kitchen forays aren’t that many but I told myself I would learn how to cook some typical Spanish fare. So here I am starting with dessert. 😉
First, I have to put all together in a pan 1 cup of milk, cinnamon stick and a peel of lemon about the size of my tallest finger. The instructions made it clear I had to remove it from the fire just before it boils as it wouldn’t taste nice. I did exactly as told.
This took more or less 10 minutes. I removed it from the fire, covered it and let it sit for 20 minutes so the flavor of the lemon peel and cinnamon stick blends well with the milk.
Next would be to put it back on medium-low heat and mixing in six tablespoons of sugar. Another cup of milk would need to be added but 4 tablespoons of corn starch would have to be dissolved in it first before adding it to the pot of hot milk. This was a tip from the recipe I was following as corn starch will not dissolve in hot liquid.
This mixture of milk now totals two cups.
This is where from anytime between 20 to 40 minutes you will consistently stir with a whisk so the corn starch won’t lump. To check if the mixture is ready a tilting test is done: tilt the pot on one side and observe the movement of the milk upon placing it back to its horizontal position. If the milk moves slowly to occupy back the space that means the consistency is ready; but if the milk quickly covers the entire bottom again it needs more cooking time.
I have done the tilting test a couple of times and I went beyond 40 minutes of cooking time because I wanted to ensure I have the correct consistency. I had it on the stove for one hour.
This is what it looked like. The mixture did move slowly when tilted to one side but that’s because it’s overcooked. *uh-oh
Well this is what happens when you follow the instructions to a T or rather if there are contradicting instructions (the 40 minutes approximate time of cooking versus the tilting test). It looked like one of my mom’s maja blanca’s recipe gone bad haha. Anyway I didn’t sweat it out since after putting it in a mold and cooling it in the refrigerator for a few hours I would have to slice them into bars and fry them. It may not look cooking show worthy but it will be after I’m done with the last step.
I have to put it in a mold greased with sunflower oil. A tip in the recipe says it’s advisable to use sunflower oil instead of olive oil as the former doesn’t leave a taste. The oil is used so the mixture would not stick to the mold.
Not exactly a pretty sight.
I had it cooled in the fridge for 5 hours. The instruction says 2 – 4 hours will do.
I’ve cut 6 bars, coated them with corn starch and then dipped in beaten egg before they went to the frying pan.
I also used sunflower oil for frying.
Next I have mixed about 1 tablespoon sugar with a bit of cinnamon sugar for coating. Easy on the cinnamon (just a pinch would do) so it would not kill the flavor.
Here is the finished product.
I realized I forgot to take a photo of one sliced in the middle. The inside looks like custard.
Craving satisfied! Yumminess certified!
I’m happy how it turned out. More kitchen forays for me. *sashays with spatula in hand.