An Odd Bit Recipe: Sweet Marrow Custard (Flan) with a Mango Jam

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sweet marrow custard with a mango jam

We’ve been celebrating Odd Bits at Spain in Iowa this month by sharing recipes and stories starring nutrient dense variety cuts and offal pieces.

Offal (organ meats), not awful.

Over the past couple of generations, we’ve slowly pushed aside organ meats and other odd bits of the animal by the way side.  Really, it’s a shame as I’ve learned from Jennifer McLagan’s book, Odd Bits, that if prepared correctly organ meats can be enjoyed and something to look forward to.

Not only are they a concentrated source of nutrients but they’re economical as well.  That alone is very important especially to those of us living on a stricter budget.

It does go to say, however, since organ meats cleanse the body and keep it functioning well, it’s important that they are sourced locally from animals raised sustainably on pasture.

It’s only then that the animals organ meats will be filled with the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats needed to nourish our bodies.

bone marrow soaking

For my Odd Bits post I decided to do something a bit different with marrow bones.  I usually add marrow bones to my beef broth, soup, or pot of beans to give it added flavor, nutrients, and gelatin.

boiled marrow bones

When I saw this beautiful post on a sweet marrow custard, I decided to use my marrow bones to make a Spanish type flan or custard with a mango sweet jam.

Mango Jam Filling

I kept to a traditional recipe, however, with the added addition of marrow it made this flan filled with wholesome fats and protein plus vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, B-Vitamins, Vitamin K and Vitamin A.

Sweet Marrow Flan Filling

In order to keep this custard more economical, I used 3 whole eggs versus the standard 6 egg yolks.

Marrow Custard Flan

It made the custard a bit lighter, however, in the Spring time when the girls start laying their eggs in abundance I’ll opt for the thicker, creamier custard made with 6 yolks.

The marrow blended well with the flavor and texture.  The children enjoyed it as well and for me, that makes this recipe a keeper!

Sweet Marrow Flan with a Mango Jam

Serving Size: Makes 6 individual ramekins

Sweet Marrow Flan with a Mango Jam

A delightful Spanish flan made with added bone marrow. It not only tastes great, but is filled with vitamins and minerals.


    Marrow Custard
  • 1/4 cup marrow from approximately 2lbs marrow bones
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Mango Jam
  • 1 cup frozen diced mango (sub fresh mango)
  • splash lemon juice
  • 2 tbls honey


    To extract the marrow
  1. soak your marrow bones in a bowl in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours draining and adding fresh cold water about 3 times.
  2. Once soaked, cover the bones with fresh cold water, bring slowly to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Once simmered for 20 minutes, remove the marrow bones from the pan and allow to cool. Scoop the marrow out with a small handle of any sorts.
  4. To make the mango or berry jam
  5. Add the frozen mango, lemon juice, and honey to a small saucepan. As the fruit comes to temperature, mash, stirring everything together until it comes to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until it thickens.
  7. To make the custard
  8. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the vanilla, honey, zest of one lemon, nutmeg, salt, and mix.
  9. In a saucepan add the milk and 1/4 cup marrow. Warm the milk with marrow until it melts through. Do not bring to a boil.
  10. Slowly, whisk the egg mixture into the milk.
  11. Butter individual ramekins or one small baking dish.
  12. Spread mango or berry jam to the bottom of the ramekins or baking dish. Pour custard mixture into the ramekins or baking dish.
  13. Put the individual molds into a baking dish or roasting pan and pour in enough hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the molds.
  14. Bake for 40 minutes at 350F or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  15. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
  16. Turn onto a dish and serve sprinkled with cinnamon.

Does your family enjoy bone marrow?  Tell me, what’s your favorite way to enjoy bone marrow?

3 Responses to "An Odd Bit Recipe: Sweet Marrow Custard (Flan) with a Mango Jam"
  1. Delphine says:

    Mmmmm…looks delicious! I’m doing a Whole30 right now so I can’t eat this but hopefully soon! I started loving marrow after I had it the classic way: melted and salted on toast with parsley. It is LUSCIOUS!

  2. This looks great Diana! When mangos come into season around here… I’m going to try this!

  3. It’s the moment I have been waiting for! :) It looks amazing!

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