Leche frita, literally meaning fried milk, is a thick vanilla custard coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried, and sometimes coated with cinnamon sugar. The crispy outside contrasts lovely with the oozy soft inside, it is as much about the texture as about the flavour. It is rather indulgent, so I only make it as a special treat. It is a dessert, but you could also serve it as a snack with coffee, or something like that. As with all deep-fried things, serve them straight away after frying.
Leche Frita (serves 6)
Adapted from “Rick Stein’s Spain”
500 ml full fat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod)
4 egg yolks
100 g sugar
30 g flour
40 g cornflour
oil for deep-frying
flour, egg and breadcrumbs for crumbing
Optional: cinnamon sugar to serve
Grease a shallow 19 cm square baking tin with a little oil (or use a silicon form instead).
Mix sugar, flour and cornflour in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and a splash of milk, and mix it to a smooth paste. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil. Pour slowly onto the egg mixture, while whisking. Pour back into the pan, on medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes while stirring continuous, until you have a very thick custard. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin, press a sheet of clingfilm on the surface, and cool for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Turn the set custard out on a board and cut into small triangles (or another shape that you fancy). Put flour, egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Dip a triangle in flour, then in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs. Lower in the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Leave to drain on some kitchen paper, then serve (dusted with cinnamon sugar if you like).