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Fried custard (leche frita)

Australian Gourmet Traveller Spanish dessert recipe for fried custard.

By Rodney Dunn
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus setting
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Fried custard


  • 750 ml milk (3 cups)
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
  • 130 gm white sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 110 gm butter, coarsely chopped, plus extra for greasing
  • 200 gm plain flour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 35 gm dried breadcrumbs (1/3 cup)
  • To serve: ground cinnamon


  • 1
    Combine milk, lemon rind, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil over low-medium heat. Strain through a fine sieve, discard bean and set aside.
  • 2
    In another saucepan, melt butter, add flour and stir over medium heat until mixture turns pale golden. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in warm milk mixture, then return to heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks.
  • 3
    Line a 18cm-square deep dish or cake pan with baking paper and pour in custard. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  • 4
    Preheat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Cut custard into 4 squares and again into triangles, then dip pieces into egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Deep-fry in batches for 2 minutes or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and dust over custard. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.