|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||10%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||14%|
|Total Carbohydrate 21g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||2%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Leche frita is one of the most delicious and popular Spanish desserts. You can find it in both restaurants and pastry shops throughout Spain, but it's also fun to make at home. The translation of "leche frita" can be a bit puzzling because it means "fried milk." The "milk" here is actually a deliciously sweet, firm, cold milk-pudding that is encased in a warm and crunchy fried shell of flour and egg.
This traditional Spanish dessert is easy to prepare but needs time to chill so it hardens enough for frying. Plan for at least three hours in the refrigerator, though overnight is preferred. Leche frita can be enjoyed in a few different ways. It's fantastic hot out of the fryer with a scoop of ice cream, but some people prefer to eat it at room temperature, or cold from the fridge. Try it all three ways and decide which is your favorite.
"The Spanish cinnamon-spiced leche frita were delicious. It is an easy recipe, but make sure to leave plenty of time for chilling. I left them to chill overnight, and they firmed up nicely and were easy to work with. They were excellent coated with cinnamon sugar and served with a scoop of ice cream." —Diana Rattray
1/2 cup (60 grams) cornstarch
1 cup (129 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups whole milk, divided
1 cinnamon stick
Olive oil, for frying, more for the pan
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Ground cinnamon, or cinnamon sugar, for garnish
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, 1/3 cup of the flour, and the sugar.
Add 1 cup of the milk and whisk to combine.
Let stand at room temperature until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 3 cups of milk and the cinnamon stick over medium-low heat.
When the milk begins to bubble, remove it from the heat. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.
Gradually pour the warm milk through a medium mesh strainer into the cornstarch-flour-sugar mixture, whisking the mixture constantly .
Return the mixture to the saucepan over low heat. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency, 10 to 12 minutes.
Lightly oil a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with oil. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhanging on opposite ends (the parchment handles will help you remove the mixture from the pan).
Pour in the leche frita mixture to a depth of 3/4-inch.
Let come to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator, covered, for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Use the parchment handles to lift the leche frita mixture out of the pan.
Cut it into 16 equal size squares, about 2 1/4 inches each.
Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
To a large, non-stick skillet, add the butter and about 1/4-inch of oil. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts.
Place the remaining 2/3 cup flour on a rimmed plate. Dredge each leche frita square with flour, shaking off any excess.
Dip 4 to 5 pieces into the beaten eggs.
Carefully transfer to the hot oil and fry until light golden, about 1 minute per side.
Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
Sprinkle with cinnamon as the the leche frita become done. Serve warm or at room temperature.
It is important that the leche frita aka "fried milk" be at least 3/4-inch thick or it will be very difficult to fry and flip. Keep this in mind as you choose which dish to use, especially if you decide to double the recipe.
- For vanilla flavor, add a scraped vanilla bean, or a teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste to the milk with the cinnamon stick.
- Add citrus notes to the pudding mixture with a few strips of lemon or orange peel.
- Feel free to swap out the olive oil with a neutral oil suitable for deep frying, such as canola or vegetable oil.
How to Store Spanish Fried Milk
- Refrigerate cooled leftover leche frita squares in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To freeze any fried leche frita, arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze. When frozen solid, wrap them in plastic wrap and foil and put them in a resealable freezer bag. Label with the name and date and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.