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I first made Tres Leches in 1993 after I saw a recipe in a cruising magazine called “Latitude 38”. I lost the recipe, and all my efforts to find an old copy of the magazine were for naught, but the Internet has made all sorts of information available. I found a recipe and tweaked it to make it the desert I remembered.

For the Batter:
5/8 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
8 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
6 egg whites

For the Milks:
1 6 oz can evaporated milk
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cream
2 egg yolks

For the Meringue:
3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12 by 8 inch cake pan.

Prepare the batter:
Cream butter. Gradually mix in sugar, and continue beating until mixture is light and creamy. Add egg yolks. Slowly mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. Add vanilla extract, and slowly mix in milk until batter is thick. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter. Pour batter into a shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Keep cake in pan.

Prepare the Milks:
Blend evaporated and condensed milks and cream with egg yolks in a blender or food processor. Bring half this mixture to a boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining mixture. Pour over cake.

Prepare the Meringue:
In a saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235-240 degrees F (112-115 C) on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; add lime juice. While beating, add the hot syrup in a stream. Beat until all the syrup has been added, the mixture cools, and a glossy icing forms. Spread meringue over cake and decorate with strawberries. Serve cold.

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