Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Strawberry Paletas


As a kid, one of my favorite summer treats was a FrozFruit Bar. I loved the chunky strawberry one,...and I also really loved the coconut one. It all depended on my mood. It's amazes me sometimes the things from childhood that stand out as clear as day. Walking to the store, with a few pieces of change and picking out a fruit bar is a memory that makes me happy.
Years later, as an adult living in Brooklyn, I still loved walking to the nearest bodega and picking up one of those exact same bars. I know similar fruit bars, or even the same ones, are available in some supermarkets. But, eating one out of a box is different from getting an individually wrapped one out of a freezer chest at a convenience store. I don't know exactly what it is, but they taste different to me.
I recently purchased a set of ice pop molds and couldn't wait to try them out. When I decided on this recipe, I had no intention of re-creating a strawberry FrozFruit bar at home. But, the end result? It tastes exactly like one! I was so excited...and so were my boys. We've already started planning out which flavors we will make next.
For more ideas, I recommend the cookbook, "Paletas" by Fany Gerson...where you can find this recipe, and many more. By the way, Paletas are frozen fruit pops in Mexico...but, have become quite the rage in the United States. They are sometimes made with milk, but always with fresh, real fruit. Have you tried making Paletas at home? What are some of your favorite flavors, or flavor combos?

Begin with 4 cups of ripe strawberries. They need to be hulled and quartered. The strawberries I used were local and super ripe. They were so little, I didn't bother hulling them...instead, I just chopped the tops off.

Add the strawberries to a bowl and pour in 3/4 cups of sugar. Give it a stir, and let them sit for about 15 minutes {a bit longer for firmer, off-season berries}.

This gives the berries a chance to soften and release their juices. Transfer the berries to a small saucepan, and add in a 1/2 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Pour the strawberries into a blender, or food processor and add in the juice of one lemon {about 2 tablespoons}. Blend until smooth {alternatively, if you'd like some chunks remaining, process less}. My kids have this affliction where the presence of "chunks" in anything that in their mind should be smooth traumatizes them. So, I made ours very smooth. If it were up to me, they'd be chunky.

Divide the mixture evenly between the molds, cover with the lid, and add in the Popsicle sticks. Freeze for about 5 hours, or until completely frozen.
You can make these without conventional molds too. Just use paper cups...Divide the mixture among the cups and let it freeze for 2 hours. Insert Popsicle sticks in the center of each cup, then freeze another 3-4 hours, or until solid.
Another side note: When making ice pops in any type of mold...to release them, run some hot water over the outside of the molds...just enough to heat the surface of the pops. They should slip right out!

Strawberry Paletas

Adapted {barely} from Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas, by Fany Gerson
Makes 8-10 Ice Pops {depending on the size of your molds}

4 cups fresh, ripe strawberries {hulled & quartered}
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
juice of one lemon

{special equipment: ice pop molds}

1. Stir the prepared strawberries and sugar together in a bowl. Let them sit for 15 minutes {a bit longer for firmer, off-season berries}. This gives the berries a chance to soften and release their juices.
2. Transfer the berries to a small saucepan, and add in the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
3. Pour the strawberries into a blender, or food processor and add the lemon juice. Blend until smooth {alternatively, if you'd like some chunks remaining, process less}. Divide the mixture evenly between the molds, cover with the lid, and add in the popsicle sticks. Freeze for about 5 hours, or until completely frozen.
{Note: If using a different brand of ice pop molds, follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have molds, you can make these in paper cups. Let the pureed mixture freeze inside the paper cups for about 2 hours, insert the popsicle sticks in the center of each pop, then freeze for the remaining 3 hours, or until firm.}

Click here for the printable recipe.

12 comments:

Plate and Pour said...

I used to love eating mango paletas (with lime in place of lemon juice)growing up in Texas. Your post makes me want to go and buy a set of ice pop molds! Thanks for sharing!

Joanne said...

I always had a hard time choosing between the coconut and lime frozfruits...maybe I should combine them. Hmm. These strawberry look amazing also! Perfect summer treat.

Susanna Carrillo said...

yum. your photos are fantastic!
question for you...do you know of a good inexpensive mandoline? thanks in advance!

kate said...

Joanne- so funny because I was thinking coconut lime would be a flavor I would probably love...great minds :)

Plate + Pour- Mango lime sounds amazing! Both my boys are huge mango fans, so that's a definite. BTW...I'm very happy with those molds. I love the retro shape of the pops!

Thanks Susanna :) - I have an OXO mandoline. It was fairly inexpensive as far as mandolines go...they can be SO expensive! I bought it a long time ago + I think they've updated the model since I got mine. It works pretty well, when I manage to figure out how to work the darn thing...lol. I usually need assistance from the DH. To tell you the truth, I barely ever use it. My favorite way to make thin cuts (if that's what you're needing it for) is to use a utility knife vs. a chef's knife. I find I have much greater control while slicing...hth :)

The Dinner Belle for KimberlyBelle.com said...

This paleta recipe is PERFECTION. A great way to beat the heat. And I love the photo with all the sugary powder mixed in with the strawberries - it makes me think of my childhood!

Ruth said...

Oh! These look delicious! Such a simple ingredient list but such a treat!

Heidi @ Food Doodles said...

Mmm, those look delicious. I can almost taste that amazing strawberry flavor. If I can still get strawberries I'll give these a try :D

Katie said...

Kate, yum. I'm totally going to buy these ice pop molds. I've seen some great recipes I'm dying to try, this being one of them. Thanks.

Laurie @simplyscratch said...

There's just something about homemade popsicles!

<3 Love.

Mike Rotch said...

Those look absolutely delish! Love those Frozen Fuirt bars!

Julie@finallyakitchen said...

These look great, I just got a set of ice pop molds and I've got to get my money's worth before the end of summer! I saw the Paletas cookbook featured at the New Yorkina ice pop cart on the High Line in NYC yesterday- they had really interesting flavors there, I chose sweet corn which was pretty spectacular. Thanks for the post, cool blog!

Eliza Arocho said...

I used vanilla sugar and they turned out fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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