Tocino del cielo recipe

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  • Yield: 16 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 50 Minutes


For the Syrup
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cinnamon stick
For the Caramel
  • 1¼ cups sugar
For the Custard
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 8 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make It
    Make the Syrup for the Custard
  1. Heat the sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, to dissolve the sugar. Add the orange zest and cinnamon stick. Put a candy/deep-frying thermometer into the syrup, adjust the heat so the syrup is boiling gently, and cook until the temperature reaches 234°F; this can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the syrup from the stove and let cool to room temperature.
  2. While the syrup is cooling, make the caramel with the 1¼ cups sugar and ¼ cup water and line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square glass baking dish with it.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. When the syrup for the custard is cool, make the custard: Beat the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth. Strain the syrup into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  5. Pour the custard into the caramel-lined dish. Pull out the oven rack and set a roasting pan on the rack. Put the baking dish in the roasting pan and pour in enough warm water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake until the center is barely set—it should jiggle slightly when the baking dish is shaken gently—about 50 minutes. Let cool completely, then chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day, before serving.
  6. To serve, run the blade of a table knife around the edges of the custard. Center a large serving plate over the baking dish and, with one bold move, invert the custard onto the dish. Give it a second, and the custard will slip easily from the dish onto the plate. (The longer the custard chills, the easier it will be to unmold.) Cut into 16 squares and serve, in small paper muffin liners if you like. Keep the serving size small—it is a very rich dessert.

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