Spanish Heavenly Custard, aka Tocinillo de Cielo

Spanish Heavenly Custard, aka Tocinillo de Cielo

This sweet, rich Spanish custard is a traditional dessert. Easy to prepare, it makes a delicious finish to dinner.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Combine sugar, water, lemon peel and vanilla into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until it forms a syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Step 2

    Syrup Consistency Test: Dip forefinger in cold water and then in the syrup. Hold forefinger and thumb together, then separate. Syrup should form a string, but it will break immediately.
  3. Step 3

    Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
  4. Step 4

    Heat about a liter of water (4 cups) in a large saucepan, for the water bath.
  5. Step 5

    Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl and strain into another bowl. Pour in cooled syrup a little at a time, while continuing to stir with a whisk. Continue to stir until all ingredients are blended.
  6. Step 6

    Pour the egg mixture into a mold. A glass dish of approximately 8 x 6 (6 cups or 1.5 liters) is a good size. The pan should be small enough so that the egg mixture is 1.5- to 2-inches thick. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Put mold in a water bath and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour. Check after 40 minutes and make sure water has not evaporated.
  7. Step 7

    When done, the custard should be firm. To check for doneness, poke with a toothpick or knife. When removed, it should be relatively clean.
  8. Step 8

    Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place in refrigerator to chill. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the dish. then unmold the tocinillo and slice to serve.