Hola! This week I'll be sharing with you a recipe that's been in my family even before I was born (which means not that long ago, but still a considerable amount of time). It's not my family's specialty or creation, but I think most of my family members know how to make it or have made one in the past. It's one of those simple recipes you can help your mom with even as little kid, so it was most likely the very first dessert I made on my own.
I grew up calling it 'Carlota', but some people just call it lemon pie; or lime pie in this case, because in Mexico we call limes 'lemons'. The word for lime in spanish is 'lima', and a 'lima' is a different citric fruit that I've never seen in the US, and I can't seem to find a translation either. Back in Mexico we mostly use limes instead of lemons, and what is know as 'lemon' we just call it 'yellow lemon'. But enough about this weird thing, here is the recipe.
CARLOTA: THE YUMMY LIME ICEBOX CAKE
- 1 can (14 oz || 396 g || 1 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 fl oz || 354 ml || 1 1/2 cups) evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup lime or lemon juice
- 2 packs 'Marias' cookies (see note below)
- 1 cup fresh brewed coffee (optional)
COOKIE NOTE: I was able to find 'Marias' cookies here in Los Angeles, but I'm not sure they are available everywhere, here is a link to a wikipedia article that contains a chart of different manufacturers around the world and their localized names, but also so feel free to substitute them for vanilla wafers, digestive biscuits or ladyfingers. Or any cookie that'll soften without mushing too much in liquid and that's not overly sweet.
- Using a whisk or a blender, mix the two milks until frothy. Add the lemon juice very slowly while mixing vigorously, otherwise the milk might sour and not thicken correctly. Mix well and let it rest while you prepare the first cookie layer, the milk and lemon mix should thicken a bit.
- Use a cake pan, baking dish or jars (or any container, really) and arrange the base cookie layer: dip each cookie into coffee (just one quick dip or the cookie might fall apart) then place it on the pan, repeat until all the base is covered (you might have to cut the cookies in halves or smaller pieces, depending on your pan). You can skip the coffee and just place the cookies straight out of the package, or dip them in milk, tea, syrup, etc.
- Add a bit of the milk and lemon mix on top of the cookie layer until covered, then add a second layer of cookies and top it again with the mixture. Repeat until you have enough cookie and milk layers to fill your cake pan.
- Place in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for at least 3 hours, it should harden enough to hold it's shape.
Dipping the cookies in coffee gives it a nice flavor boost, so you can try dipping them in different liquids to get all sorts of flavors (I'm doing milk tea next time). You can also top the 'Carlota' with canned peaches, chocolate chips, lemon zest, or any fruit you like. It's an easy and super refreshing dessert I'm sure you'll love, and it's super easy to tweak it and make it your own. Have fun in the kitchen!