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Per CULINARIA SPAIN, the Cantabria region in the northwest is home to the dairy industry of Spain & its mountain cuisine that is rich & hearty. Sweet treats abound here as well, esp custard varieties which are widely regarded as the national dessert of Spain. I grew up w/a spec fondness for my grandma's custard. I'm sure she never tried this unique variation, but I will. I admit it looks a bit labor-intensive, but I bet it's worth the extra effort. (See note Re yield & times) *Enjoy*
- Put milk, lemon zest, 4 tbsp sugar & vanilla bean in a saucepan & bring to a slow boil. Remove pan from heat source, allow milk mixture to cool & remove vanilla bean.
- Melt butter in a 2nd saucepand till foaming & add flour. Cook till the flour foams & turns pale golden, stirring continuously.
- Slowly add the warm milk, still stirring. Cook the sauce on low-heat for 5 min till it thickens.
- Remove pan from the heat source. Slowly add some of the mixture to the beaten egg yolks & whisk quickly to avoid cooking them. Then add the egg yolks to the milk/flour mixture & beat vigorously till well-combined.
- Butter (or spray w/PAM) a rectangular or square dish. Pour the custard into the dish & leave to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. (See note in Step 7).
- Combine 2 tbsp sugar w/cinnamon & nutmeg & set aside.
- Cut the cold custard into triangles or squares (A square dish can be cut easily into 9 portions & a rectangular dish can be cut into 8 portions)
- Beat 2 eggs lightly & dip the pieces of custard in the beaten eggs, then in the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil in a lrg skillet or saucepan & fry the custard slices in batches till golden brown.
- Drain custard slices briefly on paper towels & arrange on a serving platter. Using a sml tea-strainer or other dusting container, sprinkle sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg mixture atop the custard slices. Serve lukewarm or cold as desired (Fresh fruit would provide color & be esp nice to serve w/this).
- NOTE: The # of servings was not given & depends largely on how you cut the custard, so I estimated the yield. Nearly all the time is cooking or chilling time, but I allowed 15 min for prep time. Times DO NOT include time for the milk mix to cool & custard to chill till cold, so plan ahead & try to forgive me if I'm a bit off w/my estimates. :-).