MEXICOONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS
Episode 25: Cajeta & Flan: Plaza Sweets
When the Spanish conquered Mexico in the 16th Century, they brought with them all kinds of foods that the pre-Columbian world had never seen. Among those foods was sugarand actually, the whole idea of sweets. Standing in the kitchen of the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla, Rick tells us that it was the Spanish nuns, in convent kitchens just like this one, who introduced Mexico to confection-making as a way to preserve dairy products. They turned out all kinds of sweets based on eggs, milk and sugar, and among their greatest hits was a rich amber goat’s milk caramel called cajeta. Next stop: the Dulceria de Celaya in Mexico citya century-old sweet shop where traditional, homemade cajeta lives on. Back home in Chicago, Rick walks us through the process of making Cajeta
, then takes us back to Mexico for a brief seminar on cinnamon. His rustic Cajeta Apple Tarts with Fruit Salsa
are easy to make and a great way to showcase homemade cajeta. And out at the backyard grill, Rick demonstrates Grilled Pineapple and Plantains
an elegant dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream, some toasted nuts and, of course, a drizzle of warm cajeta. Finally, he pays tribute to the most famous of Mexican desserts that also happens to celebrates the “holy trinity” of eggs, milk and sugar: flan. He shows us how to make his Classic Vanilla Flan
, taking a brief time-out mid-way for a trip back to Mexico and a discussion of the origins and mysteries of vanilla.