As the heat of summer arrives in the northern hemisphere, adults and children alike are always looking for something refreshing, and cooling to eat and drink. Paletas, Mexican popsicles, are a form of homemade ice cream that combines the most delicious summer fruits in a frozen dessert on a stick, here are some recipes to inspire you to create your own.
Paletas: Delicious frozen treats on a stick
Paletas combine a wide variety of flavours and can be light and fruity or even creamy with a hint of spice. It all depends on what you combine together in your Paleta recipe. The reason Paletas are so popular with parents is that they include fresh, natural ingredients and none of the preservatives or artificial colouring and flavours that normally go into frozen popsicles. They have been described as “summer on a stick” and all over Europe and North America more and more artisans are creating their own unique flavours.
The origins of Paletas
China is attributed with the origins of ice cream, however the origins of Paletas are still unclear. Some people believe that Aztec emperors came up with the idea of mixing ice with fresh fruit. However the more likely origins of Paletas can be attributed to the 1800s when Mexico became independent and Spain’s monopoly on ice ended. At last, everyone was able to afford ice and could experiment with it, adding fruit and cream to create delicious frozen desserts to beat the heat.
How to make your own Paletas
The ingredients that go into making Paletas can be as wild as your imagination, but it doesn’t stop there, Paletas can be rolled in nuts, coconut, chopped herbs, sea salt and even dipped in chocolate. Just go crazy and experiment!
The most important thing to remember before you start making Paletas is to stock up on popsicle sticks and popsicle moulds. Once you have these, you can start experimenting with these delicious recipes.
Strawberries and cream Paletas
Instead of enjoying strawberries and cream in a dessert bowl, make your dessert portable and enjoy it lazing outside in the garden or on the go.
- ½ kg of hulled strawberries
- 1⁄3cup sugar
- 1⁄4cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Purée strawberries in a blender. Set a fine strainer over a bowl; strain strawberry purée, discarding solids. Whisk in sugar, heavy cream, and lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Pour strawberry mixture into four 3–oz. ice-pop moulds.
- Transfer moulds to the freezer and freeze until slushy, about 1 hour. Insert a Popsicle stick into each mould and freeze until pops are solid, about 3 hours more. To release ice pops from moulds, run the bottom of the moulds briefly under warm water.
This is one of the easiest paleta recipes and one of the most popular – with the sweet flavour of pineapple loved by children and adults alike.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups minced fresh pineapple
- Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
- Put the chilled mixture and half of the pineapple into a blender; puree. Set a fine sieve over a bowl and strain pureed pineapple mixture, discarding solids. Stir the remaining pineapple into the mixture and pour into eight 3-oz. ice-pop moulds.
- Transfer moulds to the freezer and freeze until slushy, about 1 hour. Insert a popsicle stick into each mould and freeze until pops are solid, about 3 hours more. To release ice pops from moulds, run the bottom of the moulds briefly under warm water.
Add a bit of spice to your life with this combination of spicy chilli powder and everyone’s favourite – mangos!
- 1 cup store-bought mango juice or nectar
- 1⁄4cup sugar
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ chilli powder
- 1 large mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes
- Heat mango juice, sugar, lemon juice, and 1⁄2cup water in a. saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
- Stir chilli powder and cubed mango into the chilled mixture and pour into eight 3-oz. ice-pop moulds. Insert a Popsicle stick into each mould and freeze until pops are solid, about 3 hours more. To release ice pops from moulds, run the bottom of the moulds briefly under cold water.
Paletas are so versatile and you really can’t go wrong. So go ahead and experiment with your own favourite ingredients. If you prefer your Paletas chunky, just slice up your fruit. If you prefer a smoother popsicle then use a blender to create a fine puree. If you add yoghurt to your paletas, remember that yoghurt has a longer freezing period.
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