Cuisine from Spain Podcast 13 – Natillas

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Marina prepares one of the most classic deserts on the Spanish menu – Natillas – a delicious cinnamon custard.


1 litre of Milk (1.7 UK Pints, 2.1 US Liquid Pints)
250 grm of sugar (half a pound)
9 egg yolks
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
cinnamon powder


Put 3/4 of the milk in a saucepan together with half of the sugar and the cinnamon sticks, until it starts simmering. Then turn the hob off and let it cool down for about 1 hour.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar and milk. When this mixture is properly mixed, add the warm mixture slowly through a sieve, little by little, while you mix it gently with a wooden spoon. Pour all the mixture back into the saucepan and set the hob at a medium setting, while you continue to mix it with a wooden spoon every now and again. After about 5 or 6 minutes it will start thickening, at this point keep stirring constantly for another 3 or 4 minutes.

Be careful when you finish, at this point it can separate so you need to pour it very quickly into small bowls – as soon as you take it off the hob.

Let it cool down and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.


Tip 1 – Before serving sprinkle some cinnamon powder over each bowl. If you like you can also add a biscuit.

Tip 2 – To ensure that the mixture doesn’t separate, you can cook them in a Bain Marie instead.

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9 thoughts on “Cuisine from Spain Podcast 13 – Natillas

  1. Vanessa Hudgens

    ..When all I want,
    to be over therrrrreee
    when did I let myself believe
    miracles could happen?

  2. Chris

    I tried making this for the family yesterday, and guess what! I heated it too long and it seperated on me!! I guess I got it a little too hot, right? I’ll try again another day. I’m not much of a cook now am I?

  3. Marina

    Don’t worry Chris, is not an easy recipe.

    Probably the heat was to strong, it is better to do it at a slower setting for a longer period of time. It is also important to stir the mixture all the time.

    Good luck next time!!


  4. Alex

    I studied in Spain this last fall and I had seen a package of natillas in the refrgerator section at the neighborhood Al Campo, but didn’t know the word (and there wasn’t a picture!). I asked my host mom what it was, she told me, and asked me if I liked it. I said yes, and from that moment on we always had a package of them in our refrigerator. She never made it from scratch, but, suffice to say, I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    Also, for future note: traditionally, Americans measure dry ingredients (flours, sugars, etc.) by cups. I think there are roughly 2 cups to a pound. But I don’t know my conversions very well.

  5. Marina

    Hi Alex, I see that you had a cool host mom while you stayed in Spain!!!

    Let us know how they turn out and thanks for the measure information.


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