Frangollo, a Canarian DessertThis treat is pretty often to find on a ‘menu del dia’ or lunch menu when you visit the Canary Islands. I haven’t seen it often in Tenerife but saw it much more in Gran Canaria. And I love it to bits because it reminds me of my childhood. So then when I came across this small bag of frangollo millet flour in my local Mercadona supermarket I just wanted to recreate that lovely Canarian dessert myself at home.
And it turned out just fine, like I remembered it. I did give it my own little personal touch and topped the frangollo with some toasted shaved almonds and raisins.
I sometimes also made a quick 5 minute caramel sauce that I made with melted brown sugar, milk, water and butter. Just combine these ingredients in small saucepan, place it over medium-low heat until the butter and brown sugar have dissolved. Then turn the heat lower and let the brown sugar sauce simmer until you end up with a smooth and sweet sauce. That brown sugar flavor goes extremely well with the almonds in the frangollo pudding by the way.
Frangollo, a typical Canarian dessert that contains millet flour, almonds, lemon zest and raisins! You will love this one...
- 1 cup whole milk (240 ml)
- 1 ½ oz caster sugar (45 g)
- 1 ½ oz frangollo (millet) flour (45 g)
- 1 oz unsalted butter (28 g)
- 1 oz almond meal (28 g)
- ½ oz raisins (14 g), chopped
- 2 thick slices lemon zest
- ground cinnamon
- 1 egg yolk
Pour the milk in a medium saucepan. Also add the butter, sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and cinnamon.
Place the pan over medium-low heat until it simmers lightly. Warm the milk for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly until the sugar and butter have dissolved Let the milk and other ingredients infuse. You really want that lemon rind to flavor the milk. Then remove the lemon rind and add the frangollo flour.
Turn the heat to medium-high and stir well until the flour has dissolved into the milk. Quickly stir in the egg yolk.
Also add the chopped raisins and almond meal.
Give the frangollo a very good stir. Then turn the heat lower, cover the pan and let the frangollo cook and thicken for about 8 to 10 minutes or until it is nice and thick. Stir regularly, make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Once the frangollo is thick and silky, pour it into small glasses or ramekins. Serve lukewarm or let it cool down fully. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, extra raisins and a pinch of cinnamon.
Do you know other Canarian desserts? Maybe you’ve heard of bienmesabe, a thick sugary mixture of almonds and honey ? A few weeks ago we visited another Canarian island called La Palma. There we ate Principe Alberto pretty much every evening which is a lush chocolate and almond mousse.
Truchas canarias are also a popular treat, especially around Christmas: they are pastry pockets filled with a lovely sweet threaded pumpkin jam (cabello de ángel). Sweet potato is also added as a stuffing sometimes but I’ve never tried those before. Rosquetes can also be found in abundance here: fried pastry rings that are usually sprinkled with lots of icing sugar.
But one of our absolute favorite Canarian desserts is mousse de gofio. That’s a creamy mixture of whipped cream, eggs, sugar, almonds, cinnamon and gofio. Now gofio is a type of wheat from Tenerife. I love to make escaldón de gofio, a side dish that consists of gofio wheat flour and fish stock. You can find small instant gofio mousse bags in supermarkets here to which you only have to add milk. There’s this ice cream parlour in Adeje, Tenerife that also sells gofio ice cream with honey, absolutely delicious!
What is millet flour?
Yay! Millet is gluten free! And it’s also rich in fiber, iron, calcium, and B vitamins. Millet grains are small in size and round. They are just a tad bigger than quinoa. In fact while I am doing some research about millet, I just realised that my mom actually used to prepare millet when we were little. We would call it ‘gierst’ in Flemish. And yes, I did like it back then. If I’m not mistaken, cooked millet was available before we had even heard of quinoa.
The millet that my mom used to cook was yellow. But millet can also be paler in color, and even red. It allegedly contains more nutrients than rice and wheat.
Millet it a very old grain that originally comes from Africa and Asia. It has been cultivated and harvested for centuries. They even go as far as prehistoric times. Ancient civilizations grew it. Nowadays millet is grown extensively in Africa, Asia, India and Eastern countries as a food grain and cereal crop.
The millet flour that I use for this dessert however is one that contains a coarser maize flour. It’s not the pure white cornflour you might have in your pantry. I’d say it’s a mixture of the white extremely fine maize flour and coarser ground corn because it’s got these small yellow specs in it.
So could I use plain cornflour to make Canarian frangollo? Yes you can. Because if you ask me, the lightly grainy texture that the frangollo has, is mainly thanks to the ground almonds. And not the typical frangollo maize flour.
I’m sure you will love it…