Peruvian Suspiro de Limena is a sweet caramel meringue parfait that literally means the "sigh of a Lima lady". I think that pretty much sums up how delicious this dessert is. Made with sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk it is an easy recipe to make. Cooking them over low heat makes the milks turn a lovely caramel color.
This Peruvian Suspiro de Limena recipe dates all the way back to the middle of the nineteenth century in Lima, Peru. The first known record of it was actually called Manjar Real del Peru or the Royal Delight of Peru. The dessert comes from a base of manjar blano which is the Peruvian name of the beloved dulce de leche in other parts of South America. Originally this was introduced by the Spanish as blancmange, a dish with a history dating back to the middle ages. The meringue portion was also brought to Peru by the Spaniards. It is the Peruvians who come up with these fusions of ingredients that make it world renown.
This dish can be found all over Peru but is especially popular in Lima. The inventor of the dish was developed by the wife of poet Joes Galvez. Galvez gave it the name Suspiro de Limena because he said it is sweet and light, like a woman's sigh.
This dish keeps well in the refrigerator so is easy to make ahead of time for your Peruvian feast. I hope you make it and please let me know if you loved it as much as I did. After all who doesn't love dulce de leche!
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Peruvian Suspiro de Limena (Caramel Meringue Parfait)
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup port wine
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon, ground
- In a heavy saucepan cook the evaporated milk and the sweetened condensed milk over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and turns a pretty caramel color, (about 30 - 40 minutes). Take off the heat.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks, and use a wire beater to beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Add a couple of Tablespoons of the hot milk mix and keep beating for a few seconds. Pour everything in the saucepan and mix carefully and reserve. Peruvians call this manjar blanco.
- In another saucepan mix the sugar, port wine and water. Make it boil over high heat for 6 minutes without stirring. The syrup is ready when it forms a caramel thread when dropped from a spoon.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with an electric beater at high speed until soft peaks form. For the whites to grow perfectly, they must have no trace of yolk, and the bowl must be dry and clean.
- Add the hot syrup in a thin and steady stream, beating vigorously until the resulting meringue is cold.
- Pour the cooked milk mixture (manjar blanco) in individual cups or a larger container, cover with meringue in a decorative fashion, and dust with ground cinnamon.
- Serve at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator.