Suspiro de Limeña is a Peruvian dessert that originated in the city of Lima. Creamy, caramel like pudding (dulce de leche) is topped with a Port flavored meringue and sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon.
History of Suspiro de Limeña
Amparo Ayarza was the creator of this dessert. Her husband, José Gálvez Barrenechea was a poet and was the one who gave it its name. The poet called it Suspiro de Limeña, which means, ‘Sigh of a Lima lady’, because it is soft and sweet like the sigh of a woman.
The base for this dessert is a homemade manjar.
Manjar is a thick cream made with milk, sugar and vanilla. You might know it as Dulce de Leche. Every country has their own way of making this manjar. Some add a little bit of rice flour and others ground almonds.
This manjar is then topped with a meringue. The egg whites are beaten to a soft peak. To this, a hot syrup made with sugar and Port is added.
And for the final touch, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
Ingredients for Suspiro de Limeña
Eggs. We are using the whole egg. The yolks, for the manjar and the egg whites for the meringue. If you keep eggs in the fridge, it’s easier to separate the yolks from the whites while they’re still cold. Do this first and then keep them at room temperature.
Evaporated milk. This is a milk that’s been cooked for a long period of time to reduce the water content. If you can’t get it and have access to powder milk, prepare the milk with half the amount of water and continue to use it for this recipe.
Port. The meringue is infused with a Port syrup. If you don’t have it, just use water. I recommend you use it, as it is a very characteristic flavor for this dessert.
How to make majar or dulce de leche for Suspiro de Limeña
First, separate the yolks from the egg whites, and keep them at room temperature.
I like to use a wide, shallow pan to make manjar, it takes less time to make it this way. Add both milks and cook for about 10 minutes. Stirring every 2 or 3 minutes. This mixture will get thick, so in the last 3 minutes, you might need to stir constantly.
Turn off the heat and scoop some of the manjar. Add it a little bit at a time to the yolks, whisking constantly. Once this step is done, add the yolk mixture back to the rest of the manjar along with some vanilla and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
Meringue for Suspiro de Limeña
Start by making the syrup for the meringue. You’ll need a small pan, some sugar and Port. Once it starts boiling, set your timer for 3 minutes.
While you’re simmering the syrup, start whisking the egg whites with an electric mixer to soft peaks. Then slowly drizzle in hot syrup. Whisk for another 2 to 3 minutes, until thick and glossy.
Putting it all together
This is a very rich dessert. I decided to serve it in very small portions. About 3 tablespoons of manjar per glass.
If you want it to look neat, pour the manjar in a pipping bag, cut off the tip and fill the glasses half way.
Do the same with the meringue. Add it to a pipping bag, cut off the tip and pipe it over the manjar.
Sprinkle with some cinnamon.
You can keep this dessert in the fridge for up to a week.
Suspiro de Limeña (Peruvian Dessert)
For The Manjar
- 1 (12 fl oz) can evaporated milk (340g)
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (296g)
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For The Meringue
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons Port
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For The Manjar
- Place the egg yolks in a small bowl.
- Place the evaporated and sweetened condensed milks into a large, shallow pan. Boil over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and take ¼ cup of the mixture; with one hand whisk the egg yolks constantly, with the other hand pour in the ¼ cup of manjar mixture, a little bit at a time.
- Pour the manjar/egg yolk mixture into the manjar in the pan and add the vanilla extract. Mix well and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Transfer to individual cups, filling only half way.
For The Meringue
- In a small pan, over low heat, boil sugar and Port for 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Add egg whites to a clean bowl.
- Whip egg whites with an electric mixer until fluffy.
- With the mixer still on, pour in the Port syrup slowly. Beat until thick and glossy.
- Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe over the manjar.
- Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.