Â· 2 cups milk
Â· 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Â· 1 1/2 cup white arepa flour (called masarepa or arepaharina)
Â· 1 teaspoon salt
Â· 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Â· 1 cup grated processed mozzarella cheese
Â· Vegetable oil, for the griddle
Â· 1 1/4 cup finely grated queso blanco (Mexican white cheese), for serving
In a small saucepan bring 1 1/2 cups of the milk to a boil. Strain into a bowl and add the 4 tablespoons of butter. Let stand while preparing the next step.
In a large bowl, stir together the masarepa, salt, sugar, and mozzarella. Make a well in the center and pour in the hot milk. Stir the masa and milk together until there are no lumps. Knead the mixture, sprinkling in the remaining 1/2 cup milk, until you have a smooth sticky dough. This should take about 5 minutes.
Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick sheet between two pieces of wax paper. With a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out 3-inch circles. Reroll the scraps and cut out more circles. You should have eight.
Brush a griddle or a large cast-iron skillet lightly with oil and preheat over medium-low heat. Fry as many arepas as will fit, until they are soft within and golden and slightly crusty on the outside, about 4 minutes per side. Keep separating the arepas from the skillet with a metal spatula, or they will stick. Keep the finished arepas warm in a low oven.
To serve, spear a pat of butter with a fork and brush the arepas while still hot. Immediately sprinkle them with a generous coating of grated cheese and serve.
Active Work Time: 35 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 10 minutes plus 1 hour chilling.
Make sure the pastry ingredients are well-chilled and the custard ingredients are at room temperature. The pastry is partially baked before filling to eliminate an uncooked pastry layer that sometimes can result.
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
In bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, pulse flour, salt and sugar to combine. Add butter and pulse until flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 1-second pulses.
Drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Pulse several times to work water into flour. Add remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until mixture develops small curds. Turn dough out onto work surface, shape into a disc and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles. Ease dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin pan, pressing out any overlap. Repeat with remaining dough. Place in freezer 5 minutes. Trim overhang with knife. Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake at 350 degrees 10 minutes to set.
Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup cream in medium bowl. Add remaining cream and sugar and stir until mixture is smooth and sugar dissolves. Check for sugar granules with a spoon; none should remain.
In small bowl, blend yolks with fork until smooth. Add to cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.
Ladle egg mixture into partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity. Bake at 350 degrees until edges of custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Custard will continue to cook after removing from oven.) Cool completely in pan. Best when eaten the same day.
Thank you Scouseman for your help. The Arepa recipe will work great. Although the Nata recipe also sounds great (I love anything custard!!) The one we had was spread on the arepas like butter and was completely white.
It will be difficult to find Nata in the US. The closest thing is Mexican Sour Cream. If you are in Texas, you can get HarinaPan, which is the corn meal you will need, at Fiesta. My son, who lives in Atlanta, told me this week that Kroger is now carrying HarinaPan. Just follow the recipe on the package. It is pretty straightforward.