Paletas, Mexican Frozen Fruit Pops

Paletas are frozen fruit pops on a stick, similar to our Popsicles but made from the freshest fruit of the season. There are two types of paletas: Paletas de Agua, which are typically made of fresh fruit, water and sweetener (typically sugar) and Paletas de Leche or Paletas de Crema, which are made of milk or cream with fresh fruit and/or flavorings like nuts, chocolate, etc.

Paletas can be found in any Mexican town, but the birthplace (although debatable) is Tocumbo in the state of Michoacán. Tocumbo is very proud of its contribution to Mexican life as seen by the sculpture that greets you as you enter town: a pink paleta with a bite out of it and a globe that looks like a scoop of ice cream in the bite’s place (see picture below no picture below). Since the best paletas are made from scratch with the best fruit of the season, we wanted to share a few recipes you can use to make a very fresh, cool treat for a hot summer day.

Fany Gerson’s book Paletas, Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice and Aguas Frescas is a great source if you want to make more paletas. She, even has adult, made paletas with mescal and tequila.

I hope you enjoy them as much as some of our fellow workers did.

Watermelon and Lime Paletas

Watermelon and Lime Paletas                         Yield: 8 – 10 each

Ingredients:                                                     Amount:

Water                                                                ½ cup

Sugar                                                                ½ cup

Watermelon, peeled, diced                                  1 ½ pound about 4 cups

Fresh squeezed lime juice                                   1 Tablespoon

Method of preparation:

  1. Make a simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat pan on medium high temperature, stirring until the sugar dissolves, is clear and comes to a boil. Allow to cool at room temperature (about 30 minutes).
  2. Add cooled syrup to a blender. Add watermelon and lime juice. Blend until completely pureed.
  3. Molding depends upon the type of mold you are using. If you are using a mold that doesn’t hold the stick in place, you may need to pour the mixture into the mold, place that in the freezer for about 1 ½ hours, then insert your sticks into the partially frozen paleta. If you have a mold that holds the stick in place, pour the mixture into the mold, set the stick in place and let freeze. I like to freeze over night to be sure they are frozen hard.

Helpful Tips:

Watermelon with and without seeds can be used; however, remove seeds before making paletas. eHow – “How to find a sweet watermelon” http://www.ehow.com/how_8093387_pick-sweet-watermelon.html , has some great tips to help you pick the best watermelon.

If you are looking for an alternative to sugar, agave nectar can be used at a 1-for-1 replacement rate. It may deliver a little less sweetness than regular sugar.

If you prefer not to have the pulp, strain before molding.

It is best to run warm water over the mold when unmolding the paleta. A hot water bath can also work. We found the dairy based come out more easily so not allot of hot water is necessary, while the more pulp you have the better chance of breaking so the high pulp non-dairy paletas (like the Strawberry Rhubarb)needed more hot water.

 Strawberry Rhubarb Paletas

Strawberry Rhubarb Paletas                          Yield: 6 - 8 each

Ingredients:                                                   Amount:

Rhubarb, ¾” pieces                                             1 pound, about 4 cups

Sugar                                                                  1 cup

Water                                                                 3 cups

Strawberries, stems removed & cut in quarters     1 pound - 1 large container, about 3 cups

Method of preparation:

  1. Place rhubarb, sugar and water into a sauce pot. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Add strawberries to pot and cook at low heat for an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Molding depends upon the type of mold you are using. If you are using a mold that doesn’t hold the stick in place, you may need to pour the mixture into the mold, place that in the freezer for about 1 ½ hours, then insert your sticks into the partially frozen paleta. If you have a mold that holds the stick in place, pour the mixture into the mold, set the stick in place and let freeze. I like to freeze over night to be sure they are frozen hard.

 

Helpful Tips:

This is designed to be very pulpy and hearty. If this is not desired, add an additional ½ cup of water at the end of the cooking steps and strain the mixture before cooling.

If you are looking for an alternative to sugar, agave nectar can be used at a 1-for-1 replacement rate. It may deliver a little less sweetness than regular sugar.

It is best to run warm water over the mold when unmolding the paleta. A hot water bath can also work. We found the dairy based come out more easily so not allot of hot water is necessary, while the more pulp you have the better chance of breaking so the high pulp non-dairy paletas (like the Strawberry Rhubarb) needed more hot water.

 Yogurt Paleta with Fresh Raspberries

Yogurt Paleta with Fresh Raspberries             Yield: 8 – 10 each

Ingredients:                                                       Amount:

Lemon peel from                                                    1 lemon

Water                                                                    ½ cup

Sugar                                                                     ½ cup

Greek yogurt, unsweetened                                     1 ½ cups

Honey                                                                   2 Tablespoons

Vanilla extract, pure is preferred                             ½ teaspoon

Fresh raspberries                                                   2 cups, about 2 small containers

Method of preparation:

  1. Make a simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat pan on medium high temperature stirring until the sugar dissolves, is clear and comes to a boil.
  2. Add the lemon peel and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature (about 30 minutes). Strain to remove the lemon peel. Refrigerate until chilled.
  3. Place yogurt, honey, vanilla and chilled syrup into a blender. Blend until completely mixed.
  4. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl, add half (1 cup) of the raspberries and mix well (raspberries will break up, so your mixture will become a little pink). Gently fold remaining 1 cup of raspberries into the mixture.
  5. Molding depends upon the type of mold you are using. If you are using a mold that doesn’t hold the stick in place, you may need to pour the mixture into the mold, place that in the freezer for about 1 ½ hours, then insert your sticks into the partially frozen paleta. If you have a mold that holds the stick in place, pour the mixture into the mold, set the stick in place and let freeze. I like to freeze over night to be sure they are frozen hard.

 

Helpful Tips:

To get the lemon peel without the white pithy inside, use a vegetable peeler and only remove the yellow exterior. Reserve the lemon for juicing in other recipes.

If you are looking for an alternative to sugar, agave nectar can be used at a 1-for-1 replacement rate. It may deliver a little less sweetness than regular sugar.

It is best to run warm water over the mold when unmolding the paleta. A hot water bath can also work. We found the dairy based come out more easily so not allot of hot water is necessary, while the more pulp you have the better chance of breaking so the high pulp non-dairy paletas (like the Strawberry Rhubarb) needed more hot water.

Bob's Paletas  Sissy's Paletas