Lisbon Cooking Class and Recipe for Portuguese Custard (Leite Creme)

Architecture on a Lisbon food tour.We sure are excited about Lisbon! We’ve been sending travelers to the capital of Portugal during our cooking vacations Flavors of Portugal and Lisbon Food Tour, and it is one of our favorite destinations. Portugal seems to gain in popularity each year, and it is no wonder, with such amazing culture, history, food, and wine to explore.

What are “petiscos”?

“Petiscos” are sort of the Portuguese version of tapas. Like tapas, these are small plates that are meant to be shared – and that are meant to be tasted with other petiscos. During your hands-on Lisbon cooking classes you can make 4 to 5 petiscos which you will then enjoy for lunch. With wine of course!

When possible, the day starts with a visit to the local market with the chef. You will learn about the various seasonal ingredients as you look over the fruits, vegetables, olives, fish, seafood, and cured meats and cheeses.

After the market visit, head to the chef’s home for your cooking class. This private experience is for small groups only, with a maximum class size of 4.

Read more about what to eat in Portugal.

Hard at work during a Lisbon cooking class.My mother recently took the class in Lisbon, and it was the favorite part of her trip! What did they make?

  • Roasted almonds
  • Fried eggs
  • Cogumelos fritos com vinagre e menta (Fried mushrooms with vinegar and mint)
  • Tomate no forno (Braised tomatoes)
  • Oven baked sea bass
  • Leite creme (Portuguese custard)

I asked Mom what she most loved about the class. “What I most loved about the class? The chef and his son, who is also a chef and who joined us that day. They were so warm and so friendly, we felt like we were enjoying the day with family. I also loved that we cooked a variety of dishes. We got to eat some as we went, and then we sat down together to finish the meal. We could have stayed all day, it was just that fun and that special. Of all the things I did and saw during my trip to Spain and Portugal, this was my favorite.”

Visiting the market during your Lisbon cooking class.Read more about why we love Portugal as a destination.

To stimulate your appetite, here was one of my Mom’s favorite recipes!

Leite Creme (Portuguese Custard)

Serves 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15
Cook method: Simmer

Leite creme, portuguese desert similar to creme bruleeIngredients

  • 90 gr caster sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 25 gr corn starch
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 liter low fat milk
  • 1 lemon peel

Making dessert during a Lisbon cooking class.


1. In a small cup or bowl dissolve the corn starch with a bit of milk, mixing until smooth.

2. Place the rest of the milk, the lemon peel, and the cinnamon stick in a pan and heat on medium until it boils. Remove from heat for a few minutes.

3. In a clean bowl mix the egg yolks and sugar and whisk well.

4. Slowly add the milk to the mixture, stirring constantly.

5. Add the corn starch mixture and whisk again. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon.

6. Return the mixture to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.

Finishing the dessert during a Lisbon cooking class.7. Poor the custard into a 6-portion serving dishes or into 6 ramekins and set to cool, either at room temperature or in the fridge.

8. Before serving, sprinkle even with caster sugar and use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar until it forms a crispy coating.

Read more about my Mom’s trip:


You can also pair it with other Portuguese and Spanish recipes, including:

Visiting the sites in Lisbon on your culinary tour of Portugal with TIKIf you’d like to cook in Lisbon, check out our Flavors of Portugal cooking vacation or our Lisbon Food Tour. If you’d like to book either or if you’re interested in a custom trip, just contact us to get started!

By Peg Kern

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