Trying to find a depression era recipe- hot ice cream
May 25, 2013 9:07 PM   Subscribe

My grandfather grew up an orphan around the turn of the century and remained very poor as long as I knew him. He made us something called "hot ice cream". I think it had milk, and vanilla, food coloring and corn starch. I have googled but am not getting very far. Can anyone help with this recipe?
posted by beccaj to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I've never heard of that, but I Googled the ingredients and started to find some recipes for similar things - like a drink called Sahlab from Egypt. Here's a Columbian version. Here's one called atole which is Mexican.
posted by Miko at 9:16 PM on May 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

Most of the references I'm finding to "hot ice cream" from the first half of the twentieth century refer to Baked Alaska. Was this a drink or something solid?
posted by XMLicious at 9:36 PM on May 25, 2013

there's something that i've seen latino street vendors sell in Pilsen Chicago that's this hot milky beverage with a lot of non-dairy creamer in it that a lot of people seem to drink in the morning on their way to work.
posted by defmute at 9:42 PM on May 25, 2013

Could you grandfather ask the orphan what was in it?

Ice cream is custard--so would a runny (or thick, of course) custard suffice? I don't know why you'd need food colouring however.
posted by oxford blue at 10:50 PM on May 25, 2013

OP, you should describe the texture of it.
posted by Brent Parker at 11:23 PM on May 25, 2013

Perhaps I'm missing something, but this sounds like cornstarch pudding to me.
posted by she's not there at 11:30 PM on May 25, 2013 [5 favorites]

I know you said milk but could it have been a variation on kissel: (sorry for the link - I'm on my phone).
posted by juva at 12:43 AM on May 26, 2013

there's something that i've seen latino street vendors sell in Pilsen Chicago

That's atole or champurrado, which is chocolate atole. Generally the tamale vendors sell it.
posted by pullayup at 2:06 AM on May 26, 2013

It sounds like a name a parent during the Depression might have given to a more boring (but filling) dessert like an eggless custard. Kids are all "oh man, not custard again", and parents are like, "It's hot ice cream! Like ice cream! But hot!"
posted by lollusc at 2:13 AM on May 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

I think she's not there has it and it's a cornstarch pudding. Googling the ingredients led me to a recipe for vla, which is a Dutch dessert that Wikipedia refers to as "cornstarch pudding" in the US. If you look at photos like the ones in this vla recipe, it does look a lot like melty ice cream.

Most of the (US) cornstarch pudding recipes I'm seeing online don't include the food coloring, but I know anecdotally that food coloring was used in many foods during the Depression. I'm guessing in this case it would have been yellow to hide the beigeness of the pudding, especially if they didn't have eggs, or enough eggs, in it.
posted by camyram at 4:53 AM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

My grandparents called water by a dozen names to make it sound more exciting, sometimes even putting a toothpick in it and calling it a pine float. So my money is on your grandpa making a cornstarch pudding and calling it hot ice cream.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:15 AM on May 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

My great-aunt (I think she lived to be 100) used to make chocolate pudding (with cornstarch and vanilla) and serve it hot from the stove over vanilla ice cream. A bit like hot fudge sauce. But PUDDING. The ice cream would quickly get all melty and it was really delicious. I don't remember what she called it, but we kids called it "ice cream pudding". I don't think this is precisely what you're looking for, but it's somewhat akin and oh, it was delicious.
posted by tomboko at 4:48 PM on May 26, 2013

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