There were many desserts I enjoyed when I lived in Peru—from my absolute favorite melt-in-your-mouth alfajores (shortbread sandwich cookies with a dulce de leche filling) to silky and flavorful cinnamon-spiced mazamorra (purple corn pudding).
Another one I often crave, is crema volteada, also known as Peruvian flan.
Like flan, crema volteada is a dessert made with eggs, milk and sugar, with some slight ingredient variations. The name volteada , which means turned upside down, refers to how it’s served; it’s baked with the sugar coating on the bottom of the pan, and then flipped so that the cooked syrup becomes the topping.
This simple-to-prepare dessert is a crowd pleaser! I made Peruvian flan last night for my monthly neighborhood association meeting, and it was a huge it! As Susan, my dear friend and neighbor said, “It’s like a sweet cloud but not too sweet! This flan has the perfect balance!”
I think you just might agree! ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!
This is how my Peruvian flan looked after just being on the table for 3 minutes! Okay, there was a crowd, but I was also serving platefuls of luscious brownies and blondies! Creamy and not overly sweet, Peruvian flan is sure to be a hit at your next soirée! Be sure to top it with blueberries or strawberries, for both color and fresh-fruit flavors.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon excellent quality vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- Fresh blueberries or strawberries (or both!) for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- In a saucepan, heat the sugar over medium high heat, moving constantly until it melts and forms a liquid caramel. Note: be very careful not to let it burn because it will taste bitter—but be even more careful that it doesn’t burn you! (It looks like it’s quite lickable—but it will totally burn your tongue; let it cool before you try it!)
- When the sugar has become a smooth syrup, pour it into a 9-inch baking pan, and be sure to cover all the inner surfaces.
- If you are using orange zest (I didn’t do it last night—and it was just fine!) sprinkle it around atop the syrup now.
- Then, using a mixer, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. (I didn’t use the cinnamon—and again, it was fine!)
- Pour the mixture into the pan.
- Put the baking pan inside a larger pan that’s about two fingers deep with water.
- Bake for 1 hour. (You’ll see that the liquid egg mixture will become solid.)
- Let cool.
- When cool, run a knife gently around the borders and turn the flan over onto a bigger plate.
- Make sure you get the additional syrup to pour on top of your crema! (You can heat the remaining syrup over a low flame with a bit of water—and then pour that over the top.)
- Refrigerate and add fruit just before serving.