How to make Pijama dessert, traditional from Spain
Today I come with a classic among classics. It can almost be called “the king of vintage desserts”, not only because of its presentation, but also because of the elements used to prepare it. But I think, rather I affirm, that in these so “old-fashioned” recipes lies a point of glamour that we must not leave in oblivion. It is true that it is not the top of the desserts (at least nowadays), but it has its charm. Today I share with you how to make the Classic Pijama Dessert.
Before continuing, I must admit one thing… I didn’t like anything, but nothing about this dessert. It seemed to me a terrible combination. I’m talking about when I was little. I used to see my parents eat it and I couldn’t understand it… I was thinking, why? Why do they eat that dessert and not order anything else? Peach in syrup with whipped cream and red cherries… There can’t be anything worse to end a family meal. Nothing.
Well, these things change when you get older. Older? I mean when you reach maturity and start enjoying the good things in life. Your taste buds open up to a whole new world of possibilities. Where once you hated country salad, now you’re dying for a plate. Or stew of lentils, torreznos… Children’s palates are not made for the good things in life. Like this pijama dessert.
This is whether we want to see it or not. Where I used to see horror, I now see enjoyment. This is life.
Pijama Dessert origin.
Apparently, the creation of this dessert came from the hand of Paco Perellada, owner of the Restaurant 7 Portes in Barcelona, founded as a cafeteria in 1836.
It was in the summer of 1951 when the restaurant’s customers, sailors from the VI American Fleet, ordered a “Pêche Melba” for dessert. This was a very famous dessert of Parisian origin from the end of the 19th century created by the French chef Auguste Escoffier to dedicate it to the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba. This one is composed by a peach in homemade syrup and ice cream decorated with icing sugar. Over time, the sugar was replaced by whipped cream. It is also usual to accompany it with a raspberry coulis.
It was then that the owner’s imagination got to work. He wanted to please his regular customers and, after asking them what was in this dessert, he improvised a dessert. It consisted of ice cream, fruit in syrup, flan and whipped cream.
It seems that the dessert was very much liked and they put it on the menu. They called it “pijmelba” and, by way of accommodating the language, it eventually became “pijama“. Eventually it became one of the star desserts in all tourist areas of Spain and even became a regular in all bars with a menu thanks to its easy preparation and wonderful result.
Making pijama dessert at home.
The truth is that making this dessert has no mystery… I think it’s one of the easiest things we can make after lifting the lid on a yogurt. That’s why, within the simplicity of it, we are going to try to do it at home making all the possible preparations.
For me there are two elements that make the dessert much better if we make them at home; flan and ice cream. The result takes on a different colour if we spend a few minutes making these two recipes at home.
The most traditional ice cream to make the pajama dessert is the vanilla-flavored one. But, in case you prefer another flavour, you just have to vary it. In the notes section I leave you some options, but on the blog you have a lot of ice cream recipes that you can take a look at.
On the other hand, we will see how to make homemade egg flan with a very simple recipe and impressive results. The result is a super-creamy and soft custard that melts on your palate after every spoonful. The only thing this preparation needs is 24 hours of rest in the fridge . But the wait is well worth it!
If you want to go a little further, you can make the peach in syrup at home. Now it’s the middle of the season and we can prepare a lot of it to store and enjoy the rest of the year.
The rest of the preparation is as simple as whipping cream and decorating. Well, and the best part, enjoy this great dessert 😉
Recipe Pijama Dessert
FOR THE CARAMEL FLAN:
- 100 g sugar
- 1 Tbsp water
FOR THE EGG FLAN (8 serves):
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 750 ml whole milk
- 175 g sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod
WHIPPED CREAM (4 serves):
- 200 g fat cream
- 2 Tbsp icing sugar
GARNISH (4 serves):
- 8 pineapple slices small or 4 large pineapple slices
- 4 halves of peach in syrup
- 16 candied cherries
- 8 scoops vanilla ice cream + sprinkles
- 8 homemade Russian cigarettes (link recipe)
- toppers for ice cream
Make caramel for the flan.
- In a saucepan add the sugar along with the water.
- Put it on a medium heat and cook, without stirring, until it starts to bubble. If we do it before, the sugar will be clumped and it will be very difficult to dissolve it.
- Once it starts to bubble, we can stir it with the help of a spoon if necessary.
- We will leave it in the heat until it reaches a golden color, but not too dark. Otherwise we run the risk of it burning and, in that case, the result will be a bitter candy.
- Remove the heat and pour the caramel into the molds (mine are 8 cm in diameter).
- Set aside.
Make egg flan.
- Preheat oven to 320ºF/160ºC.
- In a saucepan, pour the milk and add the vanilla. Put it on a medium heat and let it simmer. Turn off the fire and remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, add the eggs along with the yolks and sugar. Whisk, but try not to introduce air. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar.
- Pour the warm milk over the egg mixture and stir gently. Remember that we must NOT beat. We must integrate the ingredients without introducing air into the mixture to avoid holes in the custard.
- Place the molds on a baking tray.
- Ladle the mixture on the molds.
- Cover the surface with aluminium foil and place in the oven at medium height.
- Pour boiling water into the tray until it reaches half of the molds.
- Close the oven and bake for 60 minutes.
- Before taking the flans out of the oven, check that it is done. Remove the aluminium foil and prick it with a knife, it should come out clean.
- Take the flans out of the oven, being very careful not to burn them with the water and let them cool down completely on a rack.
- Once they are cold, we refrigerate them for 24 hours.
Prepare the whipped cream.
- Before we get ready to whip the cream we must make sure of two things
- Cream must be cold 24 hours before used it.
- The bowl in which we are going to make whipped cream must be cold. I recommend to use one aluminium bowl and freeze 20 minutes before beat it.
- Pour heavy cream into freeze bowl and beat with an electric mixer into low speed.
- Once cream is becoming to form stiff peaks, add sugar little by little stirring the whole time. Increase speed gradually but without reaches high one. Ideally use medium speed.
- Before finish to beat the cream, add vanilla extract along and beat until get a perfect whipping cream. Be sure not to over-beat, otherwise cream will become lumpy and butter-like.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill until used it.
Assemble pijama dessert.
- Prepare the container or plate where we are going to present the dessert.
- Pass a knife through the sides, between the mold and the flan, place it upside down and insert the knife again through one side to break the vacuum. Let the caramel fall onto the flan.
- If we like it with more caramel, we can pour a little (previously made) on it.
- Accompany with pineapple slices cut in half, peach in syrup (in my case cut into wedges), two scoops of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
- Finish decorating with some candied cherries, sprinkles on the ice cream, a couple of homemade Russian cigarettes and an ice cream topper.
- Serve immediately.
- When we make the caramel, we must watch it as it begins to take on a golden color. Right after it starts to bubble. A few seconds separate us from a sweet and wonderful caramel, to another excessively golden and bitter taste. This will spoil our flan...
- I have used flan molds with a diameter of 8 cm, but you can use another size by adjusting the amount to be distributed in them.
- We can use either vanilla extract or a natural half vanilla pod.
- It is important not to beat the mixture, but to stir it to avoid adding air. This can cause the custard to come out with holes in the sides.
- Another important point to avoid these holes is not to cook the flan at a high temperature. Otherwise, the mixture may boil and create these holes while cooking the custard.
- In my case I have cooked the flan in the oven, but it can be done in a bain-marie inside a large pot.
- The ice cream for the dessert can be homemade or store-bought. They are much more delicious in the first case, but if you don't have an ice cream machine or you want to do it, you can use them store-bought.
- In my case I have used vanilla ice cream, but you can accompany it with the variety of ice cream you want.
- If you don't want to make the Russian cigarettes at home, you can buy them. Or serve them with some kind of wafer cookie.
- I have used pineapple and peach in syrup to accompany the dessert, which are the classic fruits that accompany the pijama dessert. But, if you don't like them or you prefer to change them, you can use other fruits as you like.
- The flan can be kept refrigerated for 4-5 days.
No doubt this Pijama Dessert would be an elaboration to surprise... More than the innovative, just the opposite! Serving a dessert that at the time was the most, but now enjoys being something vintage. What has become an old-fashioned dessert.
I don't know why I see a special charm in these things... In fact, that's the reason why I decided to make this new section in the blog and that way try to help a little bit so that these recipes don't get forgotten.
Of course, if you dare to do it, I'd love to know how it went and what you thought! I wish you a wonderful week.