Easter is almost here and with Easter come torrijas. Or at least that’s the way it works in Spain!
I still remember how my mum, like many other Spanish mums, used to make them for us, always around this time of the year. Just once. A big occasion for us before having to wait for another long year to enjoy them once again.
Torrijas or torrejas is the name of a Spanish dessert which is typical of the Lent and Easter seasons, when catholics couldn’t eat meat and therefore less bread was consumed too. Making torrijas was a smart and delicious way to avoid the higher than usual bread waste.
In its most basic form, a torrija consists of a slice of old bread which is soaked in milk or wine, then dipped in egg, then fried in oil.
Of course, there are many ‘upgrades’ to this basic recipe. They can be served together with syrup, chocolate or even some sweet dessert wine such as a lovely Moscatel.
But today we’re going to keep it simple. The recipe below is perhaps the most traditional way to make milk-soaked torrijas: cinnamon and lemon zest infused milk, then some ground cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over the top and we’re done.
- 10 slices Baguette – 1.5 cm each
- 750 ml Milk
- 250 ml Single cream
- 1 stick Cinammon
- 200 gr White sugar
- 50 gr Icing sugar
- 2 units Egg
- 1 unit Lemon – Zest only
- 40 gr Ground cinammon
- 500 ml Extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the baguette in 10 slices of 1 to 2 cm thickness each.
- Heat the milk in a pot together with the lemon zest and the cinnamon stick.
- Add the sugar to the milk and mix it thoroughly. In goes the cream. When it starts boiling remove from the heat.
- Put the bread slices in a shallow dish, one next to each other. Pour the sieved milk over and leave it for a couple of hours so the bread gets well soaked. Beat the eggs and reserve.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan. Once the oil is very hot, take each one of the bread slices and very gently, introduce them in the beaten eggs. Fry them on both sides being careful not to break them in the process.
- Once golden, take them out the pan and leave them on a dish with absorbent kitchen towels so they absorb any oil excess.
- Transfer the torrijas to a serving plate and sprinkle a mix of icing sugar and ground cinnamon over them. Let them cool down before serving.
The torrijas get better overnight. In any case, let them cool down before serving. As a suggestion, you can quickly make a mild syrup to accompany with, using water, sugar and your personal choice of liqueur.