Our new nanny/housekeeper was rumored to be a good cook and, thank god, we are quickly learning this to be true. She shares my passion for food and when I set out to make a dish, she follows me around the kitchen taking mental notes of what I'm doing. This, admittedly, was a little annoying at first, but now I'm used to it. She has only been here two weeks and we are already learning from each other. This week she announced she would be teaching me how to make Crema "Boteada." I had no idea what that was, but imagined that it had something to do with cream and floating…or boats. Once she started dragging out ingredients I realized we were making flan.
A little Internet research revealed that what I believed was "boteada" (which means nothing) is actually "volteada" - as in "to turn upside down." And, that is exactly what you do with this Peruvian flan. Here's how you make it - without using measuring devices because Vilma doesn't use them. But, I have attempted to make guesses.
About one cup sugar
One can Carnation Milk
One can condensed milk
About two tablespoons of butter
A pinch of salt
Somewhere between 1/8 c. and ¼ c. white wine
About 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°
In a saucepan, pour one cup sugar and cook over medium high heat until it turns into syrup. Pour the syrup into the bottom of a square, glass baking pan. Pour water into a larger metal baking pan and place the glass baking pan into this pan. Make sure the water is not so high that it goes into the glass pan - a couple centimeters is good.
In a blender add the other ingredients and blend completely. Pour mixture into the glass baking pan. Cover with foil. Bake 1 ½ to 2 hours - checking after 1 ½ hours. It's done when it's set and the top is lightly browned.
When it's done, remove it from the oven and from the metal baking pan. Invert it onto a serving plate. Store in the refrigerator.
Our final review was that this is probably the best flan we have ever had. We found it to be denser than typical flan. My husband liked this because he normally finds the texture of flan kind of off-putting. The flavor was rich and creamy without being too sugary. The next day, I couldn't help myself - I ate it for breakfast. It's one of those perfect dishes where you just close your eyes and meditate on the flavors. Enjoy!