Old Fashioned Fried Milk (Leche Frita) is an authentic Spanish dessert, and it is a very simple and classic. It requires very little effort, though the custard must sit in the fridge for several hours before it can be fried, so it is not something one can whip up in a hurry. But when you have the time and inclination, it makes a very lovely dessert which is best served warm and with some fresh fruit.
There are many different recipes for fried milk, so it may differ slightly from what you see elsewhere, but this is the version in my family cookbook, so it’s the one I stick with! My family adores Spanish desserts, and Leche Frita is definitely a favorite.
To begin with, you need to mix your sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg in a saucepan. What we’re really making is a kind of homemade pudding that will thicken up enough to cut.
To your mixture, add in your milk and stir gently. Bring to a boil over medium heat and allow it to boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add in your lemon and butter.
The oil in the lemon peel really flavors the custard, and with the nutmeg and sugar, the flavor is so gentle and mild. Once it is sufficiently mixed, spread it evenly into an ungreased square baking dish, and refrigerate uncovered for three hours, until it is firm enough to cut.
Remove from the fridge and cut the solid mixture into small squares or rectangles.
Now, if you’ve ever deep fried chicken or other meats, you’ll understand the next bit. Simply dip your squares into your beaten eggs and then coat each one with bread crumbs. When you have two or three ready, place it into a hot frying pan of oil, letting them become golden and delicious over one or two minutes. Drain off on a paper towel to keep them crispy.
At this point, you can eat them and be satisfied, but if you want to take them to the next level, sprinkle them with a bit of powdered sugar. It is absolute perfection!
It is very reminiscent of a hot doughnut or funnel cake that you might get at a fair. But the texture is creamier and almost like mush. It reminds me of something that may have been served in a Victorian orphanage or nursery.
I strongly recommend serving with fresh strawberries or oranges. A nice balance of sweet and tart will bring out the flavors that are cleverly woven into each bite. I’ve even seen them served with fruit compote or jelly! However you choose to eat them, you won’t be disappointed. These are a huge hit in any home.
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 1/2 C cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 C milk
- 1 TBSP butter
- 1/4 tsp grated lemon rind
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 C breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil
- 1/3 C powdered sugar
- Mix together granulated sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg in a saucepan.
- Gradually stir in the milk.
- Heat to boiling over a medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Boil and stir 1 minute, and then you can remove from heat.
- Stir in the butter and lemon peel.
- Spread the mixture evenly in an ungreased square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches.
- Refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours, until firm.
- Cut the custard into 2-inch squares, using a wet knife.
- Dip the custard squares into eggs, then coat with bread crumbs.
- Heat oil to 360°F, and fry 2 or 3 squares at a time for about 1 to 2 minutes or until light brown.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
These really should be eaten immediately, as they will get soggy after a while. I always try to serve with a fresh fruit like strawberries or oranges to give it some extra punch!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g