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My Mother-In-Law's Ice Box Cake
Why Is This My Mother-In-Law's Ice Box Cake?
This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law. She was born in Montodoro, Sicily. She had 11 children and my husband was the youngest. This was his favorite dessert of all time. So, naturally when I got married I learned how to make it. She learned how to make it from her mother, so I'm guessing it came right from Sicily.
It's a simple and rustic looking, but the taste the best.
This was a good dessert for her because of her large family and the fact that she raised at lest half of them during the great depression in the 30's, it was economical for her. Almost everyone had chickens then running around, hence the use of eggs, and from what I hear someone in almost every neighborhood had a cow. If not, then a man with a cow would come around and sell the milk which was so very cheap back then. She told me she used to get the crackers from a cracker factory very near her house which sold a whole bag of broken ones for a penny. Of course, those are the ones she used. Also, bananas were the cheapest fruits you could buy then.
It actually is very easy to make. The cream in the center is what makes it. It's heavenly, has a custard like texture and is the creamiest cream you every tasted. I really love it while it's still warm. After I pour it into the baking dish I like not only the spoon but scrape the pot.
Also you can just make this cream for children. It has milk and eggs and all things that taste so good. I also use this when I make cream puffs and when I buy canoli shells.
I haven't served this to anyone yet who didn't love it. Mangiare Buono!
Making the Cream (Crema) in Italian. Pronounced (The 'e' is pronounced like an 'a')
In most cream recipes it is made over a double boiler so it doesn't burn. That uses 2 pots which have to be cleaned and takes a lot longer. Also in some recipes the liquids are mixed together and heated and the eggs are tempered then added to the rest of the ingredients.
That was all to complicated for me and I want my recipes to be easier to make for people who are just starting to cook. So I came up with my own way which is much easier.
Mix all the ingredients in the pot while they are still cold and stir until you see that the sugar, corn starch and eggs are all incorporated and dissolved. Then turn the burner on to medium high heat and stir for a while. Then you can let it go for a few minutes, but when you see it starting to get warm then stir it every few minutes until you see it starting to coat the spoon or spatula then stir all the time till you see the first bubbles. Then take it off the heat and add the butter and stir it till the butter is all dissolved.
The butter actually gives it a shine and makes it feel and tastes luscious with a velvety texture.
Photos of Ice Box Cake
I Thought You Would Like To See Photos of my Mother-In-Law .
If you cover the ice box cake while it is still hot or warm, the steam from the cream will create condensation and drip down on the graham crackers and make them all soggy. It will not be good like that. Trust me, I learned from experience!
Don't cover it until it's cold.
- 8 sheets graham crackers
- 3 bananas
- 1 quart 2 % or whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 heaping tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Make the cream according to the directions in the above box. Save in the pot until you are ready for it.
- Line a 9" x 11" glass or cake pan with graham crackers. Carefully cutting the corners to make them fit better.
- Pour the cream over the graham crackers. Slice the bananas over the cream, dividing them evenly.
- Top with another layer of graham crackers, carefully cutting them to fit.
- Refrigerate without a cover until it is cold then cover it. It will take several hours. Enjoy!