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Douglas Merriam; Jan Gautro Photo by: Douglas Merriam; Jan Gautro


This dessert (pronounced nah-TEE-yahz) may be made a day ahead, but prepare the meringue just before serving.

Cooking Light DECEMBER 2007

  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 3/4 cups fat-free milk, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 large pasteurized egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


Combine 1 cup milk and egg yolks in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk; set aside.

Combine 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually add remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in whipping cream. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to milk mixture. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat.

Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter to milk mixture; stir until combined. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 25 minutes or until custard cools, stirring occasionally. Discard vanilla bean. Spoon custard into a bowl. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap; chill.

Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Gently fold 1/2 cup of beaten egg whites into custard.

Spoon 1/2 cup custard into each of 8 bowls or footed glasses; top each serving with 1/4 cup remaining egg white mixture. Garnish with nutmeg.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 212
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 6.3g
  • Saturated fat: 3.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 6.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 33.3g
  • Fiber: 0.0g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Iron: 0.5mg
  • Sodium: 117mg
  • Calcium: 124mg

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Natillas Recipe