Spring is almost here and that means the Easter Holiday is near. Easter is one of my favorite holidays because it’s usually the first holiday of the year we celebrate outdoors. Everyone in my family contributes their favorite dish and we enjoy a day full of delicious food and lovely company. Besides the anticipated Easter egg hunt, crafts are part of the celebration and a detailed spring menu is planned. I’m always in charge of dessert. This year, I will be making a strawberry Carlota based on my mother’s lemon Carlota she made for us when we were kids as a weekend treat.
A Carlota is also known as Charlotte Russe or more commonly known as “icebox cake.” It requires few, simple but key ingredients and no oven is needed. My favorite way to sweeten this dessert is with La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk and flavored with fresh strawberries. The result is a dainty and beautiful frozen dessert treat. The perfect centerpiece for your celebration spread and a sweet ending to your Easter feast.
Because this dessert requires minimum prep time, our extra time will be spent dying cascarones, eggshells, and filling them with homemade confetti to include in our guest’s Easter baskets. Those cascarones are fun to crack over unsuspecting guest’s as they get a confetti surprise all over their hair.
Reliving those cherished memories with my family is very important to me. I strive to recreate those same celebrations with my own twist as a way to instill my Mexican culture in my son. By passing on those customs, recipes and traditional ingredients I like to believe that I am contributing to his sense of identity and memories he will share with his family.
- 2 (14 oz) cans La Lechera sweetened condensed milk
- 2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
- 4 lemons, juiced
- 2 pints strawberries, tops removed and sliced, plus more for decorating
- 20 lady finger cookies or 30 Maria cookies
- mint sprigs for garnish
- In a blender, mix milks, lemon juice and 1/3 cup strawberries until smooth.
- Spray a 9” spring form pan with non stick cooking spray. Arrange Maria cookies in a single layer on the bottom and sides of pan. Pour a layer milk mixture over cookies, making sure the cookies are completely covered, top with a layer of sliced strawberries and a second layer of cookies. Repeat layering. Top with remaining milk mixture. Freeze for approximately 4 hours to overnight or until set. Garnish with strawberries and mint sprigs.
- For individual servings: Line the sides and bottom of eight, 5” wide serving glasses with ladyfinger or maria cookies. Pour milk mixture in the center and fill to the top of the glass. Freeze for approximately 3-4 hours or until set. Garnish with strawberries and mint sprigs.
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