Atole de Fresa
Atole is a traditional Mexican drink served hot, thickened with fresh corn masa and sweetened with piloncillo, raw cane sugar often sold in a cone shape. Dry masa harina, which is easier to find than fresh, is used here to thicken and flavor the drink, so be sure to use a good-quality variety. This recipe is finished off with strawberries for an even sweeter version with a pink hue. Freeze-dried strawberries blended to a powder or ripe in-season strawberries will give just the right amount of sweet fruity flavor.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4cups unsweetened plant-based milk, plus more as needed
- ⅔cup raw turbinado sugar, or 5 ounces piloncillo (grated or broken into small pieces)
- Pinch of salt
- ⅔cup dried masa harina
- 2cups hot water
- 6tablespoons strawberry powder (made from blending freeze-dried strawberries) or 4 ounces fresh, in-season strawberries
- 1teaspoon dehydrated beet powder (optional), for color
Step 1Combine the milk, sugar or piloncillo and salt in a small pot and over medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar or piloncillo has fully dissolved.
Step 2Add the masa harina to a medium bowl and add the hot water, 1 cup at a time, whisking to combine until smooth with no lumps.
Step 3If using fresh strawberries, add 1 to 2 cups of the milk mixture to a blender with the strawberries, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Step 4Whisk the masa mixture into the pot with milk and allow it to come to a simmer on medium-low, while whisking to avoid lumps. Once simmering, cook for 2 to 3 minutes and turn off the heat.
Step 5Whisk in the strawberry powder or purée and beet powder, if using, until fully combined. Taste for sweetness and adjust as necessary. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Serve immediately. (Reheat in a pot over low heat or in a microwave, adding a splash of milk to loosen, if necessary. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.)