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Salvadoran Vanilla Custard for Christmas Eve (Leche Poleada para Nochebuena)


You can enjoy this delicious Vanilla Custard anytime of year but traditionally speaking, it's a pleasure everyone in El Salvador experiences on Christmas eve. Happy Holidays!

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Rate this recipe 3.8/5 (19 Votes)


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Adapted from


Step 1

In a small bowl beat the egg yolks well and set aside.

In a medium saucepan off the heat, combine the cornstarch and sugar with a whisk. Slowly add in the milk and mix until smooth.

Heat the mixture over a medium flame, whisking continuously until it thickens. Once it reaches a boil, take 2 tablespoons of the custard mixture and quickly whisk into the egg yolks; this will temper the egg yolks to avoid curdling when they come in contact with the boiling custard.

Now, briskly whisk the egg yolks into the custard. Reduce heat to medium low, continue cooking, and constantly whisk for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla, and continue whisking for another 2 minutes to release the steam.

Serve hot for a creamy texture. If serving cold the custard will set and harden a bit. Sprinkle each serving with cinnamon.


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