Tembleque (Coconut Custard) Recipe

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Guest Post by Anthony Thompson

This weeks post is different and special at the same time. I asked my other half to do a guest post. Anthony has been to many parts of the world including Puerto Rico. He lived there for nearly 2 years and has grown to love the food, people, and the culture. So, being that this weeks recipe comes from Puerto Rico, I thought that it would be appropriate for him to give some insight on the dessert itself and the culture.

I had the opportunity to live in the estado libre asociado (territory) of Puerto Rico for a year and a half. During my time I discovered many culinary delights including tropical fruits unavailable to us in the mainland US. The most impressive element of Puerto Rican culture is their willingness to share. At no time is this more apparent than during las navidades(Christmas celebrations) which begin after Thanksgiving until the Día de Reyes (King’s Day) on January 6th. This is a time of constant festivities when parrandas or traveling Christmas parties occur frequently. It is common to find some of the most delicious desserts at these parties such as arroz con leche (rice pudding) or tembleque (coconut custard). Since the climate is tropical on La Isla del Encanto, these rich yet refreshing desserts are a perfect compliment for an 80 degree winter night. Tembleque brings back wonderful memories of great food an even better company. While I would usually eat it with festive treats such as arroz con gandules (pigeon peas and rice), lechón asado (roasted pig, which I obviously don’t eat anymore), or pasteles (Puerto Rican tamales), this dish is great for a summer treat.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $2.28 view details


  1. Combine 3/4 cup of the coconut milk with the cornstarch and begin to heat on medium high until fully incorporated.
  2. Add the remaining coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla and cook until all ingredients are dissolved. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour into prepared ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Dice mango and papaya and set aside. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and reduce to a simple syrup. Remove from heat and add fruit and rum extract. Mix well and use as garnish. Top custard with shredded coconut and cinnamon.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 309g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 624  
Calories from Fat 366 59%
Total Fat 43.78g 55%
Saturated Fat 38.76g 155%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 224mg 9%
Potassium 583mg 17%
Total Carbs 60.23g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4.2g 14%
Sugars 41.29g 28%
Protein 4.55g 7%
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