Natilla is a delicious custard that is traditionally served during Christmas in Colombia, always paired with special doughnuts called buñuelos.
There are many variations of natilla. Typically it is prepared with milk, thickened with cornstarch, and sweetened with panela, a molasses-like sweetener that is a byproduct of sugarcane production. Some families like to add fresh coconut, others stir in a bit of rum or aguardiente to their natilla. Some natillas are so thick that they can be sliced into wedges for serving, and others are eaten with a spoon.This recipe is made with brown sugar (but you can substitute panela if you have some), cream of coconut, whole milk and cream, cornstarch and vanilla. It just takes a few minutes to prepare, but is very tasty. Serve natilla chilled, sprinkled with cinnamon.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: About 3 cups of custard.
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 cup cream of coconut
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pinch of salt
- In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into 1 cup of the milk. Set aside.
- Add the remaining one cup of milk and the cream to a heavy saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick, a pinch of salt, the brown sugar, and the cream of coconut.
- Heat mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it almost reaches a boil. Lower the heat slightly, and whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
- Cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and becomes shiny, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Add the vanilla, and 1-2 tablespoons of rum if desired.
- Divide natilla into serving dishes, or place in one large dish. Chill until ready to serve. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.