Sweet honey, soft bread and sugar are the key ingredients in one of the most typical Spanish sweets this time of year: The Torrija. For many regions in Spain, springtime is when most people prepare their torrijas (tor-ee-ha-s), especially around Holy Week, Easter and the season of Lent. They are an ideal dish for enjoying as an ever-appetizing breakfast, snack or dessert. In fact, for many households, the recipe for this delicacy has been passed down for generations from parents to their children.
This is an important season in the Spanish culture for sweet treats like Arroz con Leche or Rice Pudding, as it’s known in English. Our chef Jesús Morillo shared the ingredients with us and the details so that you can prepare your very own torrijas, as well as a few tricks and recommendations to make yours truly spectacular.
Ingredients to prepare torrijas
- 1 loaf of bread (about 11-12 slices).
- 1.5 litre of milk.
- 50 g of sugar.
- 1 lemon.
- 1 cinnamon stick.
- 1 bitter orange.
- 5 large eggs.
- A drizzle of sweet oloroso wine or Pedro Jimenez sweet wine.
- 600 g of pure honey.
- 1 litre of sunflower seed oil or vegetable oil.
Instructions to make torrijas
- First, gather and prepare all of the necessary ingredients to make this torrijas recipe. Next, place the milk in a bowl with the sugar, lemon peel and the cinnamon stick. Wait for the mixture to come to a boil and then remove from heat. After, cover and let sit until it cools down.
- When the milk mixture has cooled down, pour the oil in a separate pan over low heat with the orange peel. Let that sit over low heat for about 10 minutes to season the oil, stirring to keep from burning. Next, remove the orange peel and turn the heat up to medium. This is the temperature at which we will cook the torrijas.
- Now, let’s begin with the final part of the process. Strain the milk to remove any excess ingredients and in a separate bowl beat the eggs. Place the milk in one dish and the eggs in another.
- Let the bread slices sit in the milk for a few seconds. It is important to keep in mind that they may become hard if they sit for too little time and too soft if it is too long, so we recommend you let the bread slices sit for a good 10 seconds before removing. They will be perfect!
- Drain them slightly and then place them in the egg until covered, remove, and place in the pan to fry on each side. One they are golden brown on both sides, let them sit on a paper towel lined plate while the others continue to fry.
- When they are all finished cooking, heat the honey with a bit of water. The aim is to liquify the honey a bit more with the heat and water. Submerge the torrijas in that liquid and place them in a container so they can sit and absorb the delicious flavours. Lastly, drizzle them in just a bit more honey and you’re ready to enjoy this delicious dish!
A classic dessert with an innovative touch
Cooking is one of the small pleasures in life and a moment to relax. Pay close attention to your torrijas and let the delicious aromas sweep you off your feet. Despite the fact that torrijas are a Spanish classic, the ways in which they are plated can be quite innovative. Want a few tips?
- Elegant. If you’re going for more of an elegant theme and want something more sophisticated, we recommend yougive them a good dusting of granulated sugar or powdered sugar and use your honey with style by making drawings on the plate and even drizzling a bit of sweet wine over the top. You can even get inventive and use edible flowers to give the plate a bit more colour.
- With orange and lemon. Give your plate a little something extra with a bit of orange or lemon zest over the top. Our chef Jesús Morillo recommends you even use the leftover orange peel used to flavour the oil.
- Sprinkle with a bit of condensed milk. For those with a sweet tooth, sprinkle with condensed milk and even a little extra honey. You’ll love it!