When I grilled the various Nieve purveyors as to the contents (and you KNOW I did), they said that it was made with milk and not cream. Yet when I googled ‘nieve recipes’, all cyber-avenues pointed to “sorbets” and made a note that the word “nieve” means snow. None of the online recipes had a drop of milk or cream in them: just sugar, more sugar and some fruit. Odd.
Well, whatever. In this part of Mexico, all the nieve that I encountered was totally creamy in consistency and not in any way sorbet-y. In fact, they had a separate menu for “sorbet”.
Here is a pictorial of the most coveted Nieve shop in Tlaquepaque, near Guadalajara’s center.
Then (as always seems to happen??) a huge line formed behind me…
People were spilling onto the streets:
They were even doubled parked and casually eating their nieves while leaning on their cars.
This is why they came Look at the menu:
- Nuez: Nuts, usually pecans
- Mamay- a fruit (I’ve never heard of it nor seen it- the girl likened it to a papaya but with one huge seed rather than a zillion little ones)
- Zarzamora: blackberry
- Tequila (yes, exactly as it says- it contains tequila but sadly, not enough to get drunk…for that I recommend a bottle, a paper bag and some church steps)
- Chongos and Cajetas: “Dulce de Leche” or Milk sweets/candy. Each type of DDL has it’s own flavors and ingredients. They are basically curdlike puddings and/or milk cooked with sugar and baking powder until caramelized.
- Queso Elote (MY FAVORITE!!) Corn on the cob cheese (more like cottage cheese, really). From my broken Spanish, I understood that they cook the milk. Then curds and whey separate, and Mary sits on her tuffet or something like that. Then they blend in the corn… All I know is that it was FRICKEN AMAZING! Anyone like me who admits to
likingLOVING canned corn knows what I’m talking about.
So once back in the E.E.U.U., I decided to make my own nieve- the way they do in Tlaquepaque.
This recipe so easy it’s almost embarrassing. Note that ice milk is a tad icier than ice cream. It is also slightly lower in fat and calories (until you add nuts and all sorts of goodies to it, natch).
Deb’s Simple vanilla NIEVE/ICE MILK:
All you need is an ice tray, your milk of choice, some gums and any flavorings you might want. Add fruit or nuts and make it a fiesta!
- 8 Coconut Milk Kefir Cubes (random- I just happened to have it on hand…you can use cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk etc).
- Splash of water or more milk (so that the blender has something to ‘grab’)
- Xanthan and guar gums to desired consistency unless using frozen bananas which provide thickness
- stevia or other sweetener to taste
- vanilla extract (or other)
By the way, I’ve been known to use ice cube trays to freeze mashed avocado, banana, soups, broths, pumpkin puree as well as salad dressings (hello blue cheese) and au jus from Philippes the Original. Eek, like I might run out of food options and starve :-?
I decided to use my little Back to Basics Blender just to see if it was possible to make nieve without the VitaMix. It WAS possible, but I needed to use the ‘other’ attachment and shake it from time to time. The end result: it was frosty and yummy, if a little bit runny on the sides. I probably could have remedied it by adding more of the gums. I just left it as it was.
You could eat it right away or stick it in the fridge and scrape down the sides with a fork, granita-style, every 15-20 minutes. This would make it a bit less liquidy. Next time I’ll do this recipe, I’ll be freezing some canned corn! That would make it similar to my Kettle Corn Smoothie.
Q: What items to you find useful to freeze? Does it absolutely kill you to throw food away, or are you OK with it? Canned corn: Love it or hate it?