The literal translation for ‘Tocinillo de cielo’ would be heavenly pigglet, which is very poetic but certainly doesn’t give you a hint of what type of desert it is. A most accurate description would be egg yolk flan, but still is far from being true to the delicate texture and flavour of this traditional spanish dessert.

It is a classic pastry in spanish’pastelerías‘ and it’s origin stems way back in the year 1324. Yes, that far! And is intimately related to the wine production in southern Spain, most specificaly in Jerez de la Frontera. At that time they used egg whites to clarify wine, which in Spanish makes absolute sense since egg white is in fact ‘Clara de huevo’, hence ‘clarificar’ the wine.

So, they had the wine, which was great, but, what about the yolks? Nuns were reticent to waste them, and they came up with this simple and fantastic dessert. Three ingredients; yolk, sugar and water combined together and cooked in a water bath until firm. You can pair it with merengue, but we are more fond of a slightly whipped sugarless cream, and some raspberries.

 

TOCINILLO DE CIELO

simple syrup

200g sugar

200g water

3 to 1 syrup

300g sugar

100g water

240g egg yolk

Make two syrups and take them both to 121ºC. The simple syrup will coat the molds to ensure that they’re easily unmold. Pour the 3 to 1 syrup with a fine stream on the yolks whilst emulsifying with the immersion blender. Fill up the coated molds with the egg yolk and syrup mixture , wrap with plastic and cook approximately for 15 minutes or until firm, but still wobbly. Let cool, serve cold and garnish with sugarless whipped cream and berries. Enjoy!