Tocino de Cielo with Golden Raisins
Casa Mono and Bar Jamón - NYC
Spanish for “bacon from heaven”, tocino de cielo is a yolk-rich custard from Spain. It originated in the country’s Jerez region, where sherry producers were left with a glut of egg yolks after using the whites to clarify their wines. Though it doesn’t actually contain bacon, the dessert is suitably satisfying and addictive.
- 2 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- Two 3-inch strips orange peel
- Two 3-inch strips lemon peel
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sweet sherry
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
Combine 2 cups of the water, 1 cup of the sugar, the cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and lemon peel in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 225ºF on a candy thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for one hour.
Combine the remaining water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches a deep amber color, about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour a thin layer of the caramel into six 3-ounce ramekins. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Strain the cooled syrup into a large bowl. Discard the cinnamon sticks and citrus peels. Whisk the egg yolks into the syrup. Divide the mixture among the caramel-lined ramekins. Arrange the ramekins in a deep pan. Pour enough hot water from the tea kettle into the pan to make a 1-inch-high bath around the ramekins. Bake the custards until they jiggle slightly when gently shaken, about 40 minutes. Transfer the custards to a cold water bath and let cool for 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
When the custards are nearly done chilling, combine the sherry and raisins in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the raisins from the sherry.
Gently run a knife around the outside of each custard to loosen it. To remove a custard from its ramekin, place a small plate over top of the ramekin and carefully flip it upside down. Lift up the ramekin—the custard should slide out and stay on the serving plate. Alternately, you can serve the custards in the ramekins.
To serve, sprinkle some poached raisins around each custard and drizzle with a little warm sherry.