|Make it as fancy as you would like!|
While it is traditional to use limes for this simple "cake," lemons may be substituted, or a combination. But I recommend the limes, even key limes.
Until I laid my eyes on this dessert, I had no idea what Maria cookies were. They are easily found in the Hispanic section of your grocery store, they are also referred to as a "biscuit" or "digestive cookie." Usually inexpensive, they basically taste like an American animal cracker/cookie. They are sold in individual 7 oz. packages or tubes or you can purchase them by the box which usually have four rolls or tubes, sometimes more. I now always keep a pack or two on hand if only for a quick snack. They also make for quick and easy ice-cream sandwiches if you have kiddos around.
Layered between this citrus custard, the cookies absorb the moisture to transform into a delightful cake-like dessert that is fresh and appealing.
You may assemble this in a square or round pan. I prefer a round spring-form pan. The size will depend on the height you wish to build up the "cake." For beginners, I suggest an 8-inch square pan.
Like the previous lemon dessert, this, too, depends on the magic of adding an acid (citrus juice) to dairy, in this case condensed and evaporated milk to create a thick custard. Today, sadly, neither are cheap.
I have seen recipes with as little as one-half cup of juice to as much as 1 cup. It will depend on your individual taste and pucker tolerance. Start with 1/2 cup and taste as you go. You will need at least one-half dozen limes of a decent size. Be sure to give them a good wash.
- 1, 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1, 12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2-1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 packages Maria cookies (or enough to fill pan/dish of your choice)
- 1 8-inch square pan or dish
Place liquid ingredients into a blender and blend/pulse until mixture has thickened. Do not overblend or you will end up with too many bubbles.
Place a few tablespoons into the bottom of your pan. Neatly place one layer of cookies on top. Repeat. The custard layers will not be thick. It's basically a "glue." End with custard layer. If needed, break some cookies in half.
Cover. Refrigerate until solid, preferably overnight.
Decorate with lime peels and/or whipped cream and slivered almonds--even clean floral petals.
Covered, this will keep for a day or two. After that, it gets a bit too soft and "mushy." But it never lasts that long.
Below is a video to give you a bit instruction. Enjoy!