Photo courtesy of www.lottieanddoof.com
If you can boil water, you can create colourful, cool frozen treats to satisfy your hot weather cravings. With fun molds available in a variety of shapes and sizes, a whole array of popsicle forms and flavours awaits you.
The building block of paletas, a Spanish term for frozen treats on a stick, is a sugar syrup. It is this easy to prepare: place 1/2 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of cold water in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Set aside and cool completely. Makes 1 cup.
The second essential ingredient in popsicle making is fruit. I have honeydew melon versions for you, blackberry lemonade, strawberry/cranberry and sour cream cherry paletas to share with you. Each one showcases jewel-like colours and deeply satisfying natural flavours, unlike the icky-sticky fake pops you buy at the supermarket. Thanks to Bon Appetit magazine for these great ideas.
Layered Melon, Lime and Lemongrass Paletas
1 cup sugar syrup; 3 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped; 1/3 cup lime juice; 300g chopped ripe honeydew melon.
Place half of sugar syrup and lemongrass in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Strain and allow to cool. Add lime juice and stir. Set aside. Place remaining sugar syrup and melon in a blender and process until smooth. Divide melon mixture between 8 x 1/3 cup ice block molds, insert stick and freeze for 2 hours. Pour the lemongrass mixture over the frozen melon mixture and freeze for a further 3 hours. Makes 8.
Blackberry Lemon Paletas
1 cup sugar syrup; 1+1/2 cups lemonade; 2 tbsp. lemon juice; 140g blackberries.
Pour the sugar syrup, lemonade and lemon juice into a large jug and stir. Divide berries between 8 x 1/3 cup capacity ice block molds. Pour the lemonade mixture over the blackberries, insert stick and freeze for 4 hours. Makes 8.
Strawberry and Cranberry Paletas
1 cup sugar syrup; 1+1/3 cups cranberry juice; 8 strawberries, sliced.
Pour sugar syrup and cranberry juice into a large jug and stir. Pour half the cranberry mixture into 8 x 1/3 cup capacity ice block molds. Place 2 strawberry slices into each mold, insert sticks and freeze for 4 hours. Pour remaining cranberry syrup into molds. Divide remaining strawberry slices between molds and freeze for a further 4 hours. Makes 8.
And, now, for the adults. . . .
Sour Cream, Cherry, and Tequila Paletas (recipe by Fany Gerson)
8 ounces stemmed and pitted cherries, fresh or frozen; 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar; 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice; 2 tablespoons silver or blanco tequila; 1+1/2 cups whole milk; 1/2 cup granulated sugar; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract; 1+1/2 cups sour cream.
Put the cherries in a nonreactive saucepan with the confectioners’ sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and simmer, stirring often, until the syrup has thickened and has a consistency like maple syrup. Remove from the heat, stir in the tequila, and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid for another use (soda!). Combine the milk, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. If using vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the mixture, then add the pod. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just comes to a boil.
Remove from the heat, add the sour cream, and stir with a whisk until completely smooth. If using vanilla extract, stir it in at this point. Let cool slightly, then discard the vanilla bean and refrigerate the mixture until completely chilled.
Put a bit of the sour cream mixture into each of your molds, to a height of about 1 inch. Freeze until the mixture begins to set, about 30 minutes. Divide the drained cherries among the molds, then pour in the remaining sour cream mixture, dividing it evenly among the molds.
Freeze until solid.
Buzz some fruit into a sweet slurry, freeze and lick, with our support: