leche poleada

Leche Poleada (Salvadoran Vanilla Custard)

leche poleada

My three sons are all adults now. Each one has unique physical attributions, separate interests, and different circle of friends, but the one thing they have always shared is their love for Salvadoran food. Their favorite Salvadoran dessert is Leche Poleada. Their faces still light up at the sight of this delicious, traditional and sumptuous Salvadoran vanilla custard. 

My grandmother taught me how to make this dish. In El Salvador, you can also find this delicious dessert at the Mercados, and is commonly plated on corn husk boats, talking about being green!!!

We are a close-knit family and love each other dearly! I firmly believe that the time I have spent cooking for the family was well worth it; they love and respect food, as sustenance and art, but more importantly they each carry lasting memories of love, comfort and sharing. Long live traditions and family!!!


Leche Poleada (Salvadoran Vanilla Custard)


Serves 4-6


2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cup granulated white sugar
3 cups cold milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon



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

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

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


Other recipes by Alicia:

Pupusas de Queso (Cheese-Filled Pupusas)
White Bean and Pork Rib Soup (Sopa de Frijoles Blancos con Costilla de Cerdo)
Salvadoran Empanadas (Pastelitos de Carne)

View Comments

RecommendedView All