Jericallas are a Mexican custard dessert from the city of Guadalajara. It’s a rich dessert with a creamy interior and a golden brown top that’s a perfect sweet ending to your Mexican meals.
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Jericalla is a dessert with many legends of it’s invention.
One popular legend says that it was originally created in an orphanage in the state of Jalisco by a Spanish nun during the 18th century. She’s believed to have named the dessert “jerricalla” after her hometown of Jérica in Valencia, Spain.
It’s believed that she was inspired to create her dessert as a sweet way to introduce more protein into the diets of the orphans under her care.
Another story tells of her placing the dessert in the oven and having forgotten dessert whilst she took care of the children. When she remembered and went to pull them out the sugar had caramelized and the top of the custard had a burned.
Once they started eating they noticed that the burned top gave it a delicious taste and texture and that the center was still creamy.
As the years progressed Mexican jericallas became one of the most popular desserts across the state of Jalisco and can now actually be found on the dessert menu of restaurants across Mexico and abroad.
Jericallas vs Mexican Flan
The main difference between flan and jericalla is that the jericalla doesn’t have the caramel sauce that flan does. Another is that jericallas are cooked longer to achieve a thicker consistency, it has a more evident thick layer, and that also causes the top of the custard to darken and burn.
Another difference is that often times Mexican flan is made using sweetened condensed milk and sometimes even cream cheese.
Additionally jericallas are made using cinnamon sticks and flan isn’t.
Jericalla vs Creme Brulee
Crème brûlée and jericalla may look similar at first glance but they are not the same. the French dessert is typically made using only egg yolks where jericalla will also use the egg whites.
Additionally heavy cream is used in creme brulee and not in jericallas. Another difference is that in creme brulee sugar is placed on top of the custard then caramelized, where as jericallas do not.
Is This Recipe Vegan?
No, jericallas are not vegan.
They rely heavy on the use of eggs and dairy.
Though you could substitute the dairy with some decent results, it’s nearly impossible to mimic the eggs and the importance they play in this particular dessert recipe.
One of the best things about this creamy dessert is the simple ingredients needed, anyone anywhere in the World should be able to make this delicious Mexican dessert.
- whole eggs
- egg yolks
- whole fat milk
- evaporated milk
- cane sugar
- Canela or Ceylon cinnamon stick
- Mexican vanilla extract: I have a recipe for homemade vanilla extract if you don’t have access to Mexican vanilla you can use regular vanilla just make sure it’s a good quality one.
How to Make Jericalla
This is such an easy recipe to make, you’ll see.
Step 1: Prepare The Milk
Pour the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract and the cinnamon into a medium saucepan. Stir until well combined. Over medium-low heat allow the milk mixture to simmer until it comes to a gentle boil.
Stir often to help melt the sugar but also to prevent the milk from boiling over. Simmer for a total of 8 minutes. Turn off heat and remove the pot from the heat. Set aside to cool.
Step 2: Prepare The Eggs
In a large bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolks until very well combined.
Step 4: Temper The Eggs
Little by little begin adding and mixing the cooled milk mixture into the eggs. This is called “tempering” and you want to do it slowly so that the eggs don’t cook and scramble. Continue until all of the milk has been mixed into eggs.
While you temper the eggs you can start boiling water for the water bath.
Step 5: Pour and Bake
Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekins or individual flan molds. Depending on their size it should be 6 to 8 ramekins.
Very carefully pour in the boiling hot water into the roasting pan – careful not to splash any into the jericalla mixture. You want the water to cover halfway up the ramekins. This is called a baño maria or bain marie (also spelled bain-marie) and it’s a cooking method used for cooking custard type desserts.
Place the roasting pan in the center of the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. You can insert a toothpick to check for doneness. Remember that jericallas have a thicker or denser texture than flan.
This step is optional: Once the jericallas are cooked through turn the broiler on and place them directly under it for about 3 to 4 minutes to help them brown or blacken more.
Step 5: Cool
Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool and set for at least 2 hours or overnight.
How to Serve Jericallas
Serve chilled with a small spoon. If you want to add a little pop of color you can top with some sliced berries – but traditionally they are served on their own.
Jericallas would be a delicious dessert for a small dinner party or birthday party. Or you can simply enjoy as a just because dessert any day of the week. They may just become one of your favorite desserts!
How to Store
Store the jericallas covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
They will keep fresh for about 3 to 4 days.
Can You Make Jericallas Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can make jericallas ahead of time.
If I’m serving them for a dinner party I will make them the day before and remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving dessert.
Easy Jericalla Recipe
Ok amigos, did you see just how easy it is to make this Mexican custard dessert?
Its simplicity in ingredients and preparation makes it an ideal dessert for so many occasions. Plus the perfect balance of flavors and textures in every spoonful makes it such a delight and treat, a perfect ending to any meal.
As always, don’t forget to leave me a comment and rating if you make this or any of my other recipes.
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Easy Jericallas Recipe
- 1 large baking dish
- 6 small ramekins or small glass flanera molds
- Hot water for bain-marie
- 1 whole egg
- 6 egg yolks from large eggs and at room temperature
- 4.25 cups whole milk (it's 1 liter)
- 12 oz. evaporated milk I used Carnation
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large Ceylon cinnamon stick Mexican canela
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pour the milk, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract and break the cinnamon half then add into a medium pot. Stir until well combined. Turn the stove to medium-low heat and allow the milk mixture to simmer until it comes to a gentle boil.Stir often to help melt the sugar but also to prevent the milk from boiling over. Simmer for a total of 8 minutes. Turn off heat and remove the pot from the heat. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolks until very well combined.
- Once the milk mixture has come to room temperature, turn the oven on to 350F. Place the ramekins (or flan molds) into the baking dish and set aside.
- Remove the cinnamon stick(s) from the cooled milk mixture.
- Add little by little and begin adding and mixing the cooled milk mixture into the eggs. This is called “tempering” and you want to do it slowly so that the eggs don’t cook and scramble. Continue until all of the milk has been mixed into eggs.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekins. Depending on the size it should be 6 to 8 ramekins.
- Very carefully pour in hot water into the baking dish (careful so it doesn’t land inside the ramekins) pour in enough water to go up halfway the height of the ramekins.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. You can insert a toothpick to check for doneness.
- Once cooked through, turn on the broiler and place the ramekins under it so it chars or blackens the top of the jericallas. This should take 3 or 4 minutes – keep a very close eye on it.
- Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator to cool and set for at least 2 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
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Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…