Queso de leche (Custard)

Prep Time

​ minutes

Cook Time

​ hours

Chilling Time

2 - 4
​ hours


6 - 8

En Español​​

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • 20 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1cup of sugar for the caramel
1.  Place the, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon stick into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse flavors.  Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and let cool off.   After the milk mixture has cooled off, pass it through a strainer.    
2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt. Lower the heat and cook until caramelized to a golden brown. Immediately pour about 1 tablespoon into ramekins, and swirl to coat bottom and partway up sides of each. spread caramel evenly.
3.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs yolks, and two large eggs until fluffy, add the milk mixture.
4.  Divide mixture among ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan, pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the molds. Bake just until the queso de leche is set, approximately 45-55 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and let cool, refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5.  Place the ramekins in a bowl with warm water before serving to melt the caramel and loosen the flan, place a platter or large plate on top of the queso and gently flip over so the plate is on the bottom. Lift away the mold.

Note: The queso de leche shown in the picture above is made with chocolate, I forgot to take a picture while was making the regular queso de leche so I added this picture so you can see how it is done.   

Cook's Notes

You can make this dessert with chocolate, coffee, lavender and lemon peel, or coconut. You can be creative by boiling the milk with your favorite spices. The queso de leche can be refrigerated up to two days - just refrigerate in the ramekins and cover it with plastic wrap once it is cold.  Let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.