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frying Spanish
Leche Frita Default

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Fried Custard Squares

“Fried Milk,” a custard that is crunchy on the outside and creamy within, is a typical Spanish dessert found all over the country but said to be from the Basque country. With one teaspoon of anisette liqueur poured over each square and ignited, Leche Frita al Anís is created.

Yield: Makes sixteen 2-inch squares


  • 2 cups milk
  • Peel of ½ lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Cinnamon for dusting


Bring the milk with the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes.

In a saucepan, beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk until they are lemon colored. Beat in the granulated sugar, then the cornstarch. Stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk, then gradually stir in the rest. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Remove at the first sign of a boil. Discard the lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Give the custard a vigorous stir to release steam, then pour into a greased 8-inch square pan. Let cool, undisturbed, then refrigerate until the custard becomes hard.

Cut the custard into 2-inch squares, dip them in the beaten egg, then coat with bread crumbs. Fry in very hot oil, at least ½ inch deep. Drain, dust with a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon, and serve immediately. Leche Frita can be kept warm if necessary for about 30 minutes in a 200°F oven.

© 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 Penelope Casas

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 16 servings, 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs per serving and 1/2 cup oil for frying.

99kcal (5%)
69mg (3%)
4g (6%)
1g (6%)
56mg (19%)
31mcg RAE (1%)
0mg (0%)
53mg (5%)
0mg (3%)

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