Mais Con Hielo (say ‘mah-eez-kon- ye-loh’) is an iconic Filipino dessert or snack. This brings back childhood summer memories. My mom alternated with serving us Halo-Halo (Sweet Mixed Fruits) one week and this iced corn with milk the next, for merienda, the afternoon snack.
Sweet corn is in season during summer months. For the sweetest results, it is best to cook them as soon as they are harvested, according to my late dad who planted and grew sweet corn in our Philippine backyard. Preparing the corn is simply removing the husks and the silks, then boiling them for about 12 to 15 minutes. Once cooked, you can have the sweet corn any way you want – slathered with butter, as a side, as an ending to a meal or as a snack in between meals. Stripping off the cooked corn kernels and making them into this magnificent iced cold extravaganza is my favorite of all.
When I tried to photograph this cold Mais Con Hielo treat, the ice was melting by the second. We were experiencing a heat wave that day. I stopped taking photos and decided we should just eat it up. After all, enjoying the refreshing treat was what summer was all about.
The list of ingredients is simple — crushed ice, cooked corn kernels, milk and sugar. Assemble it then plunge the spoon through the parfait glass digging deep through the layers of corn and heavy crushed ice. Swirl the spoon and mix quickly. The tinkling sound of the spoon against the glass will summon the family right away. A spoonful of this ice-cold sweet snack gives you a jarring head rush and a sublime sensation of ecstasy all at once.
So crank up the heat. We won’t mind. It will just give us more reasons to enjoy bowlfuls of sweet and exhilarating Mais Con Hielo.