Updated: Dec 10, 2021
Holidays are coming and during the most beautiful time of the year, we know that homesickness kicks harder, so if you are looking for ways to feel at home thinking about the many traditions Latino Americans have during December and especially Christmas, wouldn't it be great to start by the most important thing? Food! We're thinking... Plato Navideño! And this one just CANNOT lack a good Natilla and today we are reviewing how to make a perfect one even if you're in New Zealand!
The main character during the holidays in Colombia, this flan-like dessert made out of cornstarch, milk, cinnamon, shredded jaggery and grated cheese comes in many flavours and presentations like any other recipe, but the one thing they all have in common is their tastefulness and the fact that all can be used to make the typical Plato Navideño. Let's see how can you make your own and make your place
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
This dessert doesn't only come along with a delicious taste and a sweet treat to the palate but it also carries the love and traditions of our ancestors, especially our abuelas that mean so much for every Latin American!
5 cups of the milk of your preference
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 1/8 cups of (fécula de maíz)
1 spoon of butter
1/2 Half a cup of grated coconut
Pour four cups of milk (1 litre) and cinnamon to taste into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reserve 1 cup of milk for later.
2. Add both the white and brown sugar.
3. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve.
4. Meanwhile, in a deep bowl, mix the reserved cup of milk and the cornstarch (Maizena).
5. Stir well so that there are no lumps and it does not stick to the bottom. Set aside.
6. When the mixture in the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and leave for about 5 minutes to allow the cinnamon to release its smell and flavour.
7. Remove the cinnamon sticks.
8. Stir the cornstarch mixture dissolved in the milk back into the mixture and add to the mixture.
9. Add the shredded coconut and butter while keeping stirring over medium-low heat until it comes to a boil and acquires a very thick consistency. All the time stir with a wooden spoon.
10. You'll notice that after 6 minutes or so, the mixture starts to thicken and become lumpy. Keep stirring so that it doesn't stick or smoke. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
11. After 8 minutes or a little more, it will be completely thick and heavy.
12. If you run over the bottom of the pot and the mark remains, the consistency is correct.
13. Pour the mixture into individual moulds or a glass baking dish. Use the spoon to flatten the surface.
14. Leave to cool for about 40 minutes or until room temperature and unmould.
15. While serving, sprinkle with cinnamon (optional). Cut the custard into desired size portions.
16. It can also be served with blackberry jam or grated coconut.
The smell of Natilla is a synonym of Christmas, so if you cooked correctly your Natilla we are sure you now entered into a whole Christmas mood with that sweet scent all over your house, it is also a MUST of the Plato Navideño!
Don't forget that these holidays are for sharing with your loved ones and cooking is one of a kind opportunity to bond with your children and food is the best gift in a Latin American Celebration!
If you feel that this kind of recipe is just not made for you, you can also use the quick mixes for Natilla and Buñuelos!
The team of Latino Foods wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy 2022!
Thanks for reading :D