Cuban Custard - Heaven's Bacon (tocino del cielo)

Back story by Taste of Cuba, recipe from All About Cuban Cooking by Josefina Alvarez.

Here's a tasty Cuban dessert with an unusual name, and an interesting story. During the 1300's in Spain, egg whites were used to clarify wine as it was made. The leftover egg yolks were given to the nuns at the Convento de Espíritu Santo de Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia.

Legend has it that the nuns used the egg yolks to create a tasty dessert named tocinillo del cielo, or Heaven's custard.

At some point in history, either in Spain or Cuba, people began calling the dish "tocino del cielo," Heaven's bacon. Even though the treat has nothing to do with bacon, the name stuck. Unlike flan, Heaven's bacon isn't made with milk, so the finished dessert has a more yellow look. This recipe serves 8 people.

Prep Time: 20 minutes - Cook Time: 1 hour - Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


6 egg yolks

3 3/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cup water

1 tsp. vanilla


Prepare a caramel by adding the 1/4 cup of water to 3/4 cups of sugar in a small saucepan over medium to low heat. Stir while cooking until the sugar starts melting. Let it simmer. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash the sides of the pan free of granular sugar. When sugar starts to thicken and turn brown remove from heat and add 2 cubes of ice to stop the cooking process, being very careful not to get burned with any splattering that may occur. Coat a warm baking dish or round mold by pouring the caramel and swirl it around the sides and bottom. put the coated mold aside

Boil remaining sugar and water for about 15 minutes until a light syrup is formed. Let cool. Beat egg yolks and add to light syrup, include vanilla. pour into flan mold.

Place the flan mold inside a baking dish filled with water up to half of the mold side, (bain Mary or baño Maria)

put in oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) in caramel mold like flan.