This, like many of my recipes, has my mom’s name all over it. Nothing fancy, easy to put together, no flashy presentation, just a blender and a mold and voila: I’m back in Tijuana sneaking into the fridge in the middle of the night with a spoon in hand and just eating this strawberry cream cheese gelatin straight out of the Pyrex dish.
Gelatin are a huge part of Mexican cuisine. Jello made its way across the border sometime in the 60s and has become a staple recipe in home cooks’ repertoires across the country. Green pistachio and cottage cheese gelatin appeared at baby showers and fruit cocktail gelatin were a staple at baptisms. Gelatin with mini marshmallows and pineapple became incredibly popular. I imagine most moms have a version of this strawberry and cream cheese combo… it’s a Mexican thing! Whether made of cajeta (goat’s milk caramel), mango and cream cheese, coffee (ooooh we could add Kahlua…?) - the possibilities are endless. So I guess the point is, if you grew up in Mexico, you grew up eating all different kinds of gelatin!
So here’s my version, based on my mom’s recipe although, truth be told, hers was even more simple since I couldn’t resist playing around and adding sweetened condensed milk and some piloncillo sugar that I had in the pantry! I’m hoping my kids love it, too (I’ve actually never made it!) but I would also be totally happy if they didn’t, too… because, you know, those middle-of-the-night fridge visits.
Gelatina de Fresa con Queso / Strawberry Cream Cheese Gelatin
3 (0.25oz) packages unflavored gelatin, dissolved in ½ cup boiling water then cooled
16 ounces of quartered strawberries
¼ cup raw sugar or piloncillo sugar
16 ounces cream cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup chopped strawberries
Toss 16 ounces of quartered strawberries and raw sugar in bowl until well combined and let sit 20 minutes until juices form. Set aside.
Blend cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and powdered sugar in high power blender until very smooth. Add strawberry and raw sugar mixture. Blend until very smooth.
Using a fine mesh strainer, strain gelatin mixture into medium bowl. Add cream cheese and strawberry mixture to gelatin, also passing it through the strainer to remove any lumps and whisking continuously. Gently stir in chopped strawberries. Pour mixture into 6 to 8 goblets, depending on what you’d like to serve in! Refrigerate until completely set, about 6 hours. Optionally, garnish each with fanned strawberry.