Bienmesabe, a Canarian dessert that says it all with its name

This dessert dates back to the time of the conquest of the Canary Islands. Like Prince Albert, bienmesabe has a famous creator: Matilde Arroyo. Known throughout the Canary Islands, this dessert has a greater tradition on the island of La Palma, although it is also widely marketed in Lanzarote, Tenerife or La Gomera. It is said that this dessert is probably an adaptation made by this well-known confectioner of the pastry traditions of the south of the Iberian Peninsula. This dessert awarded this baker with the Gold Medal of the Canary Islands in 2009, for being able to market this delicious dessert outside the island of La Palma.

Bienmesabe is a perfect accompaniment to ice cream, although it can also be eaten with flan and other cold desserts. In addition, due to its thick and grainy texture thanks to its almond base, it can be used as a decoration in cakes and pies. It is a tradition on the island where this dessert was born to eat it mixed with yogurt. This dessert, of simple ingredients and preparation, is a delicious accompaniment to many other desserts and transports you to the Canary archipelago with its flavor.


Bienmesabe with a glass of moscatel | Shutterstock

Ingredients for the bienmesabe:

  • 250 g ground almonds
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250 g sugar
  • 250 ml of water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One cinnamon stick

How to make the bienmesabe:

  1. First, with the help of a blender, grind the almonds until a paste-like mass is formed. Separate them in a bowl and prepare the rest of the ingredients. Put the sugar in a saucepan with the water that we have prepared to create a syrup and stir little by little. Add to this mixture the cinnamon stick and the juice of one lemon.
  2. Once the syrup becomes thicker, remove the cinnamon stick and add the crushed almonds and stir this mixture repeatedly, so that it does not burn. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens a little more.
  3. When you notice that it has thickened, and without stopping stirring, remove the saucepan with the mixture and set it aside to cool, allowing about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat the egg yolks well, which you will have to separate from the egg whites beforehand. When you have beaten the yolks, add them to the already cooled mixture.
  4. Once you have mixed the yolks with the rest of the batter, return the saucepan to the heat until it is hot and continue stirring for 5 minutes without letting it burn. After these 5 minutes, remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool. You can store the bienmesabe in a glass jar and enjoy it later with a scoop of ice cream.

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