Dulce de Leche: hard to pronounce, easy to love. I love it straight out of the jar, on top of Momofuku Sour Cream Ice Cream, and now in this Peruvian dessert, A Lady from Lima Sighs. Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk simmer down and reduce to create a thick and rich dulce de leche sauce. It’s then topped with a Port wine-spiked meringue and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, both of which keeps the dessert from reading overly sweet.
I’ve read a couple different explanations regarding the name of this Peruvian dessert, the most logical being that it’s so good it elicits sighs from the ladies who eat it. The dessert is extremely rich, so you’ll want to keep the portion sizes small to keep signs of contentment from becoming sighs of overindulgence.
A Lady from Lima Sighs is not very difficult to make, but I do have a couple notes for you. You really need to stir the dulce de leche mixture pretty much constantly to prevent the mixture at the bottom of the saucepan from scorching. Also, if you’re able to find white port it would make the finished result a little more attractive. The regular port syrup tints the meringue a grayish-purple color. Not a deal breaker, but a little annoying for a sometimes perfectionist like myself.
And finally, I’ll throw out the usual caution regarding uncooked eggs. This dessert does use raw eggs, so please be aware that there is a small risk of salmonella contamination.
Suspiro de Limena- A Lady from Lima Sighs
Yield: 6 servings
* 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
* 12-ounce can evaporated milk
* 3 eggs, separated
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
*1/4 cup sugar
*1/4 cup port wine (preferably white port, if you can find it)
* ground cinnamon, for dusting
In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan combine the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook over medium-low until reduced, thick and toffee-colored, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and stir to thoroughly combine with the warm pudding. Spoon the pudding into individual bowls or ramekins to cool completely.
In small saucepan combine the sugar and port wine over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then bring to a boil. Boil 5-7 minutes, or until syrupy.
While the port syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. While the mixer is running, slowly pour in the hot syrup. Continue to beat until the meringue has cooled.
Spoon the meringue atop the pudding. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.