I love custard. I’m from St. Louis, so eating frozen custard was pretty much a given at least a few times a month. My favorite is a frozen custard concrete with Reese’s cups blended right in. Unfortunately there’s no frozen custard to be found in Spain (or Reese’s cups), but they do have loads of different custard desserts here: crema catalana, leche asada, and my favorite: natillas.
The refrigerated dessert aisle in Galicia is actually pretty impressive. In the states I was used to mediocre pudding, some jello, and yogurt. But here they have ready made desserts perfected. They’ve got flan, cheese flan, custard, arroz con leche, pudding, cuajada, you name it. And they’re good! The flan comes with caramel sauce drizzled on top right out of the plastic tub. It doesn’t feel like the grocery store refrigerated section at all.
I buy the natillas every once in a while, add a bit of cinnamon on top, and it’s really great. A super easy weeknight treat.
But I had no idea how much better it would be to make it from scratch. And it is SO much better. It’s thick, rich, and the whole process only took about 20 minutes with virtually no mess. I don’t think I’ll ever buy them again. I’m making them in giant batches from now on.
- 1 liter of whole milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 8 tbsp sugar
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- optional: cinnamon to garnish
- Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until smooth. Then add the sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 liter of milk. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the rest of the milk to a large pot over a medium heat. Add the lemon peel and cinnamon stick.
- When the milk just barely begins to boil, remove the lemon and cinnamon. Slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture while stirring constantly. Continue stirring for several minutes.
- Add the mixture back into the large pot and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- When the mixture has reached the desired consistency, pour it into a container and let it cool on the counter for 10 minutes. Then transfer to the refrigerator and let cool for at least two hours.