Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I just got back from Michoacan where I had my first paleta. I didn’t have one here in San Miguel because I wanted to reserve that “first” for the birthplace of the Mexican popsicle.

I always crave these in the summer and this summer has been no exception. The paleterías here however always make them with fresh fruit so they are wonderfully refreshing.

Milk-based flavors are creamy and include such standard flavors as vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Ice-based flavors include strawberry, mango, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple and yes even tamarind.

Like everything else, there are also many gourmet paleterías popping up who use fresh, all-natural local ingredients.

Here are two I made that were both really good – one icy and the other creamy.

They are a real treat after walking the hills all day in the warm afternoon sun.

Buen Apetito!

Pineapple Ice Pops (Paletas de Piña)
Makes 8

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 cups minced fresh pineapple

Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a 1-qt. 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; purée. Set a fine sieve over a bowl and strain puréed pineapple mixture, discarding solids. Stir the remaining pineapple into the mixture and pour into eight 3-oz. ice-pop molds.

Transfer molds to the freezer and freeze until slushy, about 1 hour.

Insert a Popsicle stick into each mold and freeze until pops are solid, about 3 hours more.

To release ice pops from molds, run the bottom of the molds briefly under warm water.

Strawberry Paletas

1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved (save one for the stick)
2 pints premium vanilla ice cream

Slice strawberries and put in a large bowl. Transfer to a bowl, then freeze, uncovered, until cold, about 10 minutes.

Transfer ice cream to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30 percent power in 10-second intervals, stirring, until softened, about 50 seconds total.

Spread evenly in a 13-by 9-inch baking dish and freeze while strawberry mixture chills.

Dollop tablespoons of strawberry all over ice cream, then swirl it gently through ice cream with a spoon.

Spoon into molds (or into cups) and add sticks with a berry nearest the paleta.

Freeze until firm, about 1 1/4 hours.