For the dessert of our Mexican cooking class featuring a menu from Michoacán, we prepared wildberry atole ‘custard’ with home-made almond ice cream.
Atoles are usually hot drinks made of masa (corn flour), with the addition of unrefined cane sugar, cinnamon-infused water, as well as optional vanilla, chocolate or fruits. If the mixture is boiled for a long time with lots of sugar, it will set at room temperature to form a ‘custard’. The ‘custard’ we made in our class used frozen blackberries.
The state of Michoacán is very fond of exotic-flavoured ice creams and sorbets, and the Almond Ice Cream we made is a good example. In Spanish it is called : ‘pasta de nieve’ which translates as ‘almond paste of snow’.
Home-made Almond Ice Cream – ‘Pasta de nieve’
|4 cans of evaporated milk||Bring the milk, baking soda and cinnamon to a boil, then lower the heat and reduce to one third volume.|
|1 cinnamon stick|
|1 tsp. baking soda|
- Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of honey and simmer for 5 more minutes
- Add 2 cups of ground almonds and continue to simmer until it is creamy
- Remove from heat, pour into a cake pan and chill in an ice bath.
- At the one hour point whip up 4 cups of whipping cream to soft peaks
- Fold the whipped cream into frosty mixture, and put the pan back into the freezer.
- From this point on check every 15 minutes or so for crystals forming and break them up using a fork.
- Continue to do this until the ice cream is smooth and creamy.
The Wildberry Atole Custard
- 500 gr corn flour is mixed with water to form a dough; the masa dough is then mixed with more water until runny.
- Once the masa is dissolved strain into a pot and bring to a simmer stirring constantly.
- 750 gr of berries are mixed with a half litre of water; then strained into the simmering atole.
- Whisk the two together, then add 750 gr of sugar and continue stirring until the bottom of the pot is visible.
- Pour the mixture into dessert cups and let set at room temperature.
- Garnish with whole berries and a sprinkle of icing sugar (or in this case an almond and Almond Ice Cream)
Chef Rossana, the instructor of my Mexican cooking course, is on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/MiMetate