Mostly, I haven't had much reason to buy condensed milk. But a trip to Panama changed this. After a long hike in the cloud forest, our guide took us to a local place in Boquete specializing in strawberry desserts. My eye went straight to a strawberry ice capped with condensed milk and dense whipped cream. The creamy milk quietly mediated between the fruit and cream, working its magic much like it does in coffee and cookie bars. —Amanda Hesser
In a food processor, combine the frozen strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture is a fluffy, powdery ice. Taste and adjust sweetness and lemon juice if needed. Pulse again. Scrape the ice into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Just before serving, whip the cream. Spoon the strawberry ice into 6 coupes, tumblers, or bowls. Top each with two tablespoons condensed milk and a big pouf of whipped cream. Hurry to the table!
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.