It’s natillas!

Visiting Alexander’s family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, last year I got so excited about all the mouth-watering New Mexican dishes that for Christmas they sent me this exciting and instructive cook book with recipes from their home state.

It gives a history of NM cooking and includes a wide variety of recipes to reflect the state’s rich cultural heritage, from green chili to moussaka. Awesome! I started using it the moment I opened it and experimented with quite a few recipes like the signature New Mexican green chili (I love this stuff), chili rejenos, Navajo fry bread and green chili enchiladas. All lip-smacking goodness.

Yesterday I tried my hand at natillas, a custard dessert with a Spanish origin. Alexander told me he has a great aunt who used to make really delectable natillas, so I was a nervous about how my efforts would come out.

Oh, but no fear was necessary. It came out just lovely. A rich, pale yellow custard that begged to be savored and eaten in large quantities. Mmm, give me more of that!

So here is how you make natillas, and you really should try it. It’s decadent!


500ml full cream milk

4 eggs, separated

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

nutmeg to garnish


Mix the egg yolks, one cup of the milk and flour well and set aside.

Pour the rest of the milk into a saucepan with the sugar and salt and scald, stirring constantly so the sugar dissolve.

Remove from heat and gradually stir it into the egg yolk mixture. Return to low and heat and stir constantly until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and set aside to cool. In the meantime, beat the egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Fold them into the cooled mixture. Pour it all into a bowl, sprinkles with some nutmeg and chill (it) before serving.

When eating, make sure you scrape your bowl properly to let none of this goodness go to waste.

Suggestions and tips for making natillas:

– The recipe book suggested it should take about 30 minutes for the mixture to thicken, but on our gas stove and in the wok it took about 10 minutes, so watch it carefully.

– You can decorate your servings natillas with some sprinkles or some more nutmeg and I am certain that dropping some chocolate shavings would add to the attraction.