leche frita

i've been wanting to make some leche frita for months now, so last weekend i finally did. it's hard finding a good recipe.. the first one i tried never set up like it should have and had to be tossed. the second recipe worked, but i dont remember where i got it from... mom and dad have a recipe book somewhere with a recipe in it.. we made it for spanish class one year. they're crispy and sweet on the outside and creamy on the inside..

Leche Frita
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 vanilla beans (i used vanilla flavoring)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place the cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in 1 cup of the milk and keep stirring until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the little seeds into the mixture. (i added some cinnamon to this part, too) Over high heat,bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes,until the mixture thickens heavily. Remove the vanilla beans and wash and dry them for another use. Pour the mixture into a shallow glass baking dish (about 8inches square) and smooth the top with a spatula until even. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, until quite firm.

With a knife dipped into hot water, cut the custard into approximately 1 1/4inch squares. Dip the squares first into the beaten egg and then in the bread crumbs. Place the prepared squares onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. (i just put them right in the pan as i dipped them)

In a heavy 10 to 12inch skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. When the foam begins to subside, add half of the custard squares and brown for about 2 minutes on each side, turning them over carefully with a large metal spatula. Transfer to a warm serving platter and cook the remaining squares in the same way. Serve, sprinkled with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the cinnamon. (i roll them around in the cinnamon sugar)
Yield: 6 servings

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