Everyday Meals

Mais con Yelo

Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell

In the Philippines, mais con yelo is a traditional dessert of crushed ice layered with corn kernels and sweetened milk. For this version, inspired by the “special halo-halo” served at chef Jonathan Dario Salvador’s restaurant Inapuyan in Candon City, the milk and ice are combined with puréed corn to make a delicious granita, which is piled over fresh corn in syrup and topped with crunchy cornflakes.

4 servings


    • 4 ears of corn, kernels cut from cobs (2 1/2–3 cups), cobs reserved
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup condensed milk
    • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
    • 8 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
    • 1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
    • Cornflakes (for serving)


    1. Set aside 1 cup corn kernels for the syrup. Transfer remaining kernels to a large bowl. Using the handle of a spoon or a butter knife, vigorously scape cobs over bowl to release any remaining bits of kernels and as much corn liquid as possible. Transfer kernels and liquid to a blender. Blend on high speed until liquefied as much as possible (there will still be some small chunks—that’s okay), about 1 minute. Transfer to a sheet of cheesecloth, then wring and twist bundle to release corn liquid into a medium bowl (you should have ¾–1 cup). Discard solids.
    2. Add cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 2 cups water to bowl with corn liquid and whisk to combine. Pour mixture into a 13×9" baking dish. Freeze until icy around the edges, about 30 minutes. Using a fork, scrape granita every 30 minutes until ice crystals are thick, icy, and flaky, about 2 hours. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to use.
    3. Meanwhile, bring brown sugar, remaining 6 Tbsp. granulated sugar, remaining 1 tsp. salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until syrup is glossy and slightly thickened but still runny, 10–15 minutes. Add reserved 1 cup corn, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened to the consistency of maple syrup and corn is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then chill in an airtight container until ready to serve.
    4. Divide syrup and corn among sundae glasses. Top with granita. Sprinkle with cornflakes.
    5. Do Ahead: Granita and syrup can be made 5 days ahead. Keep granita tightly wrapped in freezer. Transfer syrup to an airtight container and chill.

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