Fun stuff: Suspiro Limeño, a Peruvian custard

Suspiro Limeño

Suspiro Limeño is a Peruvian custard laced with brandy. Don’t get drool on your keyboard.

My father-out-law is from Peru, though he now lives in Panama.  The first time I ever went to Panama to visit, he drove me right from the airport to a Peruvian restaurant.  I became an instant fan of the cuisine, from the salpicada de mariscos – an appetizer platter of ceviche and other chilled, marinated seafood – to the dessert: a Suspiro Limeño.

Suspiro Limeño literally means “Limean sigh,” i.e. from Lima, the capital of Peru.  I’ve also seen it called Suspiro de Limeña, “sigh of a Limean woman,” and Suspiro a la Limeña, “Lima-style sigh.”  It’s a layer of dulce de leche custard followed by a layer of meringue laced with booze!  What’s not to like?  (Actually, if you don’t like things too sweet, this may not be for you.)

Anyways, here’s the recipe.  If you try it, post in the comments and let us know how it came out!


The original link:
A recipe for Suspiro Limeño

A cleaned-up version of the original directions:


  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 5 eggs at room temperature
  • Slightly less than 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/4 ounces port wine (oporto)
  • Cinnamon

Pour both milks into a saucepan and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Keep cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the milk turns the caramel color of dulce de leche.

Take the saucepan off the heat and add the 5 egg yolks, beaten.  This is your custard, and when it’s cooled a bit, you can spoon or pour it into dessert dishes.

Beat the eggs whites for the meringue.  Put the sugar into another saucepan and cover with the port.  Cook over medium heat until it boils and begins to thicken. Add this mix to the egg whites, fold in, and spoon over the custard.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and chill until you’re ready to serve.

And a couple tips from Matt: I’ve seen this served with a little port floating around in it.  So I’d splash a little of your port over the whole thing with a spoon right before you serve it. Also, this dessert is too sweet for some people. If you want to cut the sweetness and bring more balance to the flavors, add some instant coffee crystals to taste while it’s cooking. That’s my own innovation – not at all traditional – but personally, I like it better with the coffee.

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