Natilla, sometimes also called natillas, is a sweet dessert popular in many Latin American countries and Spain. Natilla can refer to several sweet custard type dishes typically made with milk, eggs, and sugar. In Spain, natillas is the name for a thick, sweet custard that can be flavored with ingredients like vanilla and chocolate. In Colombia, natilla is made without eggs and is eaten as a Christmas treat, frequently served with buñuelos (fried dough) and spiced heavily with cinnamon. Peruvian natilla, the kind made by Ferry Plaza Farmers Market vendor Bodega and Yerba Santa Goat Dairy, is a caramel made with goat milk, brown sugar, and molasses to yield a rich brown spread similar to dulce de leche. Variations of the dessert are also found in Mexico and New Mexico.
Typically, natilla is made by heating milk then slowly adding in eggs and other ingredients, stirring constantly to avoid burning and to create a thick, smooth texture. The mixture is then cooled and served garnished with cinnamon, coconut, nutmeg, or canela. Natilla is delicious on its own, with just a dusting of cinnamon, but it is also used as a spread, filling for breads and pastries, topping for ice cream, or served with fruit.
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