The Spanish have many Easter traditions and tary treats to eat. Ive already told you all about bunyols, now heres another of our special Easter treats. Similar to French toast, torrijas are typically eaten around Easter time. They consist of bread, dipped in milk and egg, then fried, before being sprinkled in sugar and drenched in honey. Some of them also have a burnt sugar layer on the top, similar to a crème brûlée.
This is a recipe I came across on a blog some time ago, but have yet to try...
4 large eggs
1 liter (about a quart) of whole milk
1 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of honey or golden syrup
Good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
A thick bar of slightly stale French bread (or any other type of slightly stale bread)
Bring the liter of milk, ½ cup of sugar, anf lemon peel to a slow boil.
Cut the bread in thick slices.
When the milk mixture has been cooking for about 15 minutes, turn off the heat and soak the slices of bread in this mixture. Be careful not to completely wet them to the point that they will break apart, but try to get them to absorb as much milk as possible.
Let the slices of wet bread rest and cool (some liquid may be lost).
Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and dip the slices in the egg mixture. In the meantime, heat up about ½ an inch of the olive oil in a deep, heavy pan on medium-high heat.
Fry the slices two by two, flipping them halfway so that both sides are nice and crisp.
Let the French toast rest on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Cover the slices in the sugar and set aside.
Finally, make the syrup. Take the remaining sugar from coating the torrijas and add it to a medium-sized pot. Add a bit more to completely cover the bottom of the pot if necessary.
Add 2 cups of warm water to the sugar and bring it to a boil.
Add the honey (you can add more or less depending on preference). Or golden syrup.
Allow the syrup to simmer for about 30 minutes until it reduces to the right consistency. It won’t be a very thick syrup, but it shouldn’t be too watery.
Take the syrup off of the heat and after about 15 minutes spoon it over the French toast. The torrijas should be completely soaked in the syrup. Allow them to completely cool before putting them into the refrigerator.
Refrigerate the torrijas for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
Enjoy within two or three days for best quality! (I doubt they’ll last that long anyway!)