Aletria is rich, creamy, decadent and so easy to make!

There are a few tricks and things to look out for but overall it is a very simple and straightforward dessert. This recipe I’m sharing feeds a small army. We usually make it when we’re having company but you can (and should) adjust it accordingly.

This is a prefect dessert for Christmas, Easter, Presidents’ Day… Come on, you don’t need an excuse to make it!




1 lb angelhair or vermicelli pasta
7 1/2 cups whole milk
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter cut into pats
14 yolks, beaten
The zest of 4 lemons
**please keep in mind these amounts yield a party sized platter
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta for 5 minutes. It should be slightly under done.  Drain.
  • At the same time, steep the milk with the sugar and lemon zest.  You want the mixture very hot but not boiling.
  • Add the pasta to the hot milk mixture and stir continuously.
  • Once the pasta is cooked through, remove the pot from the heat and add the butter pats.
  • After the butter is melted and incorporated, ladle small amounts of this hot milk mixture to the beaten yolks to increase the temperature of the yolks. Incorporate about 4 ladle-fulls stirring vigorously.
  • Add the warmed yolk mixture back into the main pot with the pasta and milk and stir over gentle heat to thicken mixture.
  • Be careful not to curdle the egg yolks by having your heat too high.
  • Once thickened, pour mixture onto a shallow serving dish. Allow it to cool slightly before decorating it with ground cinnamon.

Below are some photos of the process.


Separate the eggs. You’ll only need the yolks so plan on making egg white omelets the next morning. BTW- those are empty egg shells we save up to use in the garden. This recipe doesn’t use THAT many eggs!


Once you add the half-cooked pasta to the hot milk, you may be concerned that there’s too much milk. Don’t worry, the egg yolks will thicken it up.


Whip up the egg yolks so they’re nice and frothy.


Once the pasta is cooked, transfer small amounts of hot milk to the bowl with the yolks.


Whipping in the hot milk will warm up the yolks and prepare them to join the pot with the pasta and hot milk.


When adding the warm yolks, be sure to keep mixing the contents of the bowl and keep your heat down low.


The mixture will thicken and while it is still slightly liquidy, pour it onto a shallow serving dish or pan. Allow it to cool slightly before decorating it with ground cinnamon.


Aletria can be served warm or cold. Once it’s set, you can cut it into squares easily. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon if you desire.


2 responses to “Aletria

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