Easter is approaching and it is just the right time to prepare a traditional Spanish dessert special for this period of the year. Torrijas is very simple yet very delicious and makes you become full of energy!
The origin of this sweet is attributed to the Roman times. Marcus Gavius Apicius, a 1st century star chef, included a version of Torrijas in his renowned recipe book at the time “De re coquinaria”.
Torrijas seem to have become popular during the 16th century, when this highly calorific dish would be given to expectant mothers before giving birth, as well as after birth to help restore their energy.
Also, it became common to eat torrijas during Lent and especially the Holy Week, or ‘Semana Santa’ just before Easter. It’s believed that the dish became a popular option during that time as it compensated for the absence of meat from the diet during Lent. In religious context, torrijas were eaten with wine, and together the two were said to represent the body and blood of Christ.
- 1 french bread
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup of sugar
- Zest of ½ lemon and ½ orange
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 table spoon vanilla
- 1,5 cups vegetable oil
- 1 table spoon ground cinnamon
Cut the bread in thick slices.
Bring the milk, ½ cup of sugar, lemon and orange zest and cinnamon stick to a slow boil.
When the milk boils, turn off the heat and drain it into another container. When the milk mixture becomes warm, soak the slices of bread in this mixture and try to get them to absorb as much milk as possible.
Let the slices of wet bread rest and cool.
Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and dip the slices in the egg mixture.
Meanwhile, heat up 2 cups of the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat.
Fry the slice, flipping them halfway so that both sides are nice and crisp.
Let the fried bread on paper towels to absorb excess oil. In another bowl mix the remaining sugar (1/2 cup) with the ground cinnamon.
Cover the slices in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Buen provecho! / Enjoy!