Spanish Heavenly Custard, aka Tocinillo de Cielo

Custard in pan on chopping board
Martin Poole / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
324 Calories
9g Fat
51g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 341mg 114%
Sodium 122mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 50g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 123mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The literal translation of Tocinillo de Cielo is "Bacon from Heaven," which tells you how much the Spanish love pork. We like to call it simply Spanish Heavenly Custard. This sweet, rich treat is a traditional Spanish dessert, made with 10 egg yolks, sugar, and lemon peel. It is then baked in a water bath until it sets, and has a texture of a custard. Easy to prepare, it makes a delicious finish to a Spanish dinner.


Steps to Make It

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

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

  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. 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. 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. 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.