Posted on | April 28, 2011 | 3 Comments
Before I came to Peru, I have to confess that I wasn’t much of a cook.
I don’t mean that I didn’t cook – it just wasn’t really “cooking”. I used a lot of stuff from cans and boxes – canned tomatoes instead of fresh, Cream of Whatever soup mixes, Rice that comes in a box…you, know, the San Francisco Treat? I made a lot of food that tasted great, but I wasn’t a very sophisticated cook.
That’s why when I came to Peru, I didn’t know the difference between leche asada and crema volteada. They’re both egg custard desserts and seemed like the same thing to me. But it never failed, I’d point one out on the dessert tray and say “I’ll have the leche asada” and they’d correct me – “Senora, that’s crema volteada”. It seems I never got it right.
So – what’s the diff? Crema volteada, as we learned yesterday, is made with a caramel topping that goes in the baking dish first, then the desert is flipped out onto a serving tray so that the topping will be, well, on top. It’s like flan.
Leche Asada is “baked milk”, and is served straight out of the same dish in which it’s made – there’s no caramel sauce involved. It’s a typical egg custard. And this is how you make it.
- 3-1/4 cups milk
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Put the milk in a saucepan and add the sugar, and heat just to the boiling point, stirring frequently. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs and yolks together with the vanilla in large bowl.
- Add the heated milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Do it slowly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-1/2 quart glass baking dish or into individual ramekins. (You can sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg if you like)
- Place the baking dish into a larger metal baking dish, then fill the metal pan with hot water. (see yesterday’s post for a more thorough explanation of this cooking method, called bain marie in French or baño maría in Spanish)
- Place in the oven, and cook for about 25-30 minutes until the eggs are set.
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