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Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless

Cajeta & Flan: Plaza Sweets (#124)

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 sugar -- and 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 city -- a 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. [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: In MEXICO - ONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS, the beloved chef and restaurateur seamlessly weaves together techniques, recipes, cultural musings and off-the-wall surprises. This season Rick presents start-to-finish, stress-free, Mexican-inspired fiestas packed with creativity, color and flavor. Throughout the series, Rick translates his Mexican travel adventures into unforgettable parties from intimate fireside suppers and casual backyard cocktails with friends to big, boisterous bashes for 25. Rick also suggests clever and practical ideas to make each party special, like creating signature drinks for the occasion, serving ceviche in glass votive holders and transforming supermarket salad bar items into a hip Mexican crudites platter. And to help set the mood, he offers party playlists featuring his favorite musical finds and gardening tips for growing one's own ingredients.

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These episodes of Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless aired in the last few months on Iowa Public Television.

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