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Tres Leches


Tres Leches and Strawberry Mexican Gelatin

Tres Leches and Strawberry Mexican Gelatin
Gelatina de Tres Leches con Fresas

Serves: 8

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Gelatina de Tres Leches con Fresas" />

Ingredients

For the tres leches gelatin:

1 cup whole or 2-percent milk

1 14-ounce can La Lechera sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin powder (or about 2 tablespoons)

1/2 cup lukewarm water


For the strawberry gelatin:

2 cups cranberry or pomegranate juice

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin powder (or about 2 tablespoons)

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 pound strawberries, stemmed, rinsed and quartered

To Prepare

To prepare the tres leches gelatin: Bring 1 cup of milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow the milk to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla extract, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high to return to a simmer, then reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Pour 1/2 cup of lukewarm water into a medium bowl and add 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin. Stir until well combined, then let it rest until the mixture puffs up (it will increase slightly in volume and appear as if it’s solidifying) – approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a small saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the bowl with the puffed-up gelatin mixture on top of the saucepan with the simmering water. Let it rest there, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin has completely dissolved and the mixture has a barely amber color – approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour the dissolved gelatin into the bowl with the tres leches mixture and stir to combine.

To prepare the Strawberry Gelatin: Pour the juice into a large mixing bowl. Repeat the same process to mix and dissolve the gelatin as outlined in the second paragraph above. Pour the dissolved gelatin into the juice and stir to combine.

To layer your tres leches and strawberry gelatin: In plastic cups or single-portion gelatin molds, use a liquid measuring cup or small pitcher to fill about 1/3 of each cup with the tres leches mixture. Place the cups into the refrigerator until the gelatin sets (appears solid and does not slosh when moved), about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not put the bowls with your remaining tres leches mixture and juice mix in the refrigerator.

Remove the cups from the refrigerator and pour the juice mixture on top of the tres leches, filling about another 1/3 of the cup, and add some strawberry pieces. Cover the cups with plastic wrap, return them to the refrigerator, and let chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

(You are at free will to play with your combinations! You can decide how many layers - one or ten! - and how thick or thin you want to make them. You can choose which flavor you want to start with, or if you want to alternate. Continue until you are done using all of the flavored mixes.)

If you want to use a large 8- to 10-inch serving mold, fill it halfway with tres leches mix and refrigerate until set, about 20 to 30 minutes. Then pour the juice mixture on top and carefully add the strawberry pieces. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before unmolding. It should be firm and not feel sticky or sag, and it should slide easily out of the mold with a few gentle shakes.

Hint: If your gelatin mixtures start to solidify while you are waiting for layers to set in the refrigerator, not to worry! Adding a little at a time, stir water into the mixture until it becomes liquid, again.

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April 5, 2013
tres leches and strawberry jello

Red, green, orange, blue… and all the colors you can dream up! Vanilla, cajeta, jamaica, chocolate, coffee, fruits, nuts… and just about any flavor you may crave. Smooth or chunky, creamy or foamy, heavy or light… choose any texture you like. Wait! We haven’t even gotten into shapes. Did you say your son likes Spiderman, your mom likes flowers or you want to go for a simple 2 layer design?

If you haven’t fallen for Jello, then you haven’t tried those in the Mexican repertoire. Forget about the 1950s-style-jello salads. Forget about the Jello you’ve seen people eat, or you may have eaten, in hospitals, too.

Mexican Jello is something to celebrate, to showcase, to boast about.

Gelatinas, in Spanish, many times come in individual servings with different flavors stacked in bright and colorful layers. Sold by street vendors who carry them in see through 2 to 3 tier covered stands, they are a common site in gas stations where cars wait for their turn and passersby can’t help but be tempted. Now you know why I always tagged along with my dad to fill up the tank!

It’s hard to show up at a kids party in Mexico and not see them. You will run into more sophisticated versions of them, standing tall, firm and proud at grown up parties, maybe with generous splashes of rum, tequila or rompope in their mix. There are simpler Jello creations brightening shelves at bakeries and grocery stores, too. In fact, Jello is such a big thing, that some cooks have elevated it to a complex art form with floral and abstract designs.

Continue reading Dream Big: Tres Leches and Strawberry Jello


February 19, 2010

Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk’s Cake, is one of the most, if not the most popular and sold cake throughout Mexico. It is also amongst the most requested recipes I have been asked for after Pickled Jalapeños and Piggie cookies. So dear readers, I am sorry it has taken this long but here it goes! I promise to get to the other requests, which I love getting on your emails, as soon as possible.

Tres Leches is a sweet, practically wet, homey cake. Its base is a vanilla sponge cake, completely soaked in a sauce traditionally made with three kinds of milk: La Lechera sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and regular milk. Some versions substitute regular milk with heavy cream. The cake will sometimes have a topping like fresh whipped cream, which I seriously consider of utmost necessity. Sometimes the topping turns out to be meringue or even chocolate ganache.

Growing up in Mexico City, there was a bakery called La Gran Via, which sold such delicious Tres Leches that even though it was far from home, we used to drive many Sundays to get one. These days La Gran Via has become a large chain store of bakeries… it has been years since I have eaten one of  their cakes. This recipe, is as close as I get to my nostalgic memories.

Continue reading Tres Leches Cake

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Tres Leches Cake

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