I can still remember how excited I used to get for Birthdays growing up. As kids, we never received toys—and it wasn’t because my parents didn’t love us, but because it was a luxury they could not afford. I grew accustomed to receiving socks/underwear and the occasional $20 for the occasional paleta or raspado pretty quickly because as you become more self-aware, you notice your parents are doing their best to provide you with everything they can. When it came to Birthdays, my mom would always splurge and make us our favorite meals, and I (usually) always asked for the same thing; sopes, and gelatina de leche. Sometimes she’d just make gelatina de leche by itself, and other times she would layer it with a strawberry jello and top it with slices of strawberries.
My favorite of course, was just the gelatina de leche by itself.
When I posted the picture of the slice on Instagram, I didn’t realize that there’d be so many of you who also grew up loving gelatina de leche. I love connecting through food and sharing stories and it always makes me incredibly happy when others share their memories with me.
The best way I can describe this jello is as a more firm, slightly more flavorful panna cotta. We steep cinnamon in the milk, and top it with fresh berries to counter the sweetness. We’re also adding buttery crema mexicana to make the gelatina a little creamier. It wasn’t until I was going through the pictures that I realized I had this red/white and blue motif going on which makes this perfect for your upcoming 4th of July gatherings. Step it up a notch and use a more intricate bundt pan for it and boom! you have a simple and very elegant dessert.
- 1 cup cold water
- 5 tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 4 cups of milk
- 2 large mexican cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 28 oz condensed milk
- 1½ cups crema mexicana (sub in heavy cream)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Fresh Berries
- Start by blooming 5 tbsp of unflavored gelatin (reduce the amount to 4 tbsp if you don't want it as firm and aren't using an intricate pan) in the cup of cold water. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized saucepanadd the milkand bring to a boil. Once the milk reaches boiling point, add in the cinnamon, reduce the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the cinnamon sticks and add in the unflavored gelatin, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Mix in the condensed milk, crema mexicana and vanilla extract, and stir until everything has been fully combined. Strain your mixture into a large bowl with a spout and let cool for a few minutes.
- Pour your mixture into your mold and refrigerate for about 4-5 hours until firm.
- Unmold your jello by running a thin sharp knife along the edges of the pan. Place a plate ontop of your jello and invert. Garnish with fresh berries.