Summer means paletas!
I gifted myself a copy of Fany Gerson’s Paletas…an amazing mexican popsicle cookbook that, if you don’t own, you should. I do these things (buy myself too many cookbooks) when I’m feeling inspired by others’ cooking and baking journeys, but I find myself mostly abandoning my ideas. This time, things were different. As soon as I opened my box from Amazon, took out the book and paletas molds that I ordered, I set out to make a recipe faster than Ryan Lochte won that gold medal in the 400 Meter Individual competition the other day. You’re welcome for that yummy picture of him…go ahead…click through. It is virtually impossible for me to resist popsicles. My entire childhood was composed of popsicles by the pool in the summertime. My mom used to make some sort of homemade ice pop with yogurt and berries, so naturally I ended up making Gerson’s Yogurt Ice Pops with Berries.
I basically set out to use up every single piece of wilting fruit sitting in my fridge, so I adapted the recipe a bit to include blackberries, strawberries, and peaches. I should also note that I didn’t have any regular sugar on hand, so I substituted sucanat for the sugar. If you’ve never used sucanat before, you can basically use the same amount that the recipe calls for in place of sugar. It’s more like brown sugar than granulated white sugar, so if you use it, your simple syrup will look more like molasses, like mine does. There’s a good bit of honey involved in this recipe, which adds a bit of sweetness, but doesn’t make it overwhelming. This is a super easy recipe:
Paletas de Yogurt con Moras (Yogurt Ice Pops with Berries) from Paletas by Fany Gerson
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened Greek-style yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups fresh blackberries, or the berry of your choice
Rinse the lemon, then peel it. (This recipe uses only the peel, so save the lemon for a different use.) Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon peel, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, then refrigerate until chilled.
Put the yogurt and honey in a blender, add the chilled syrup, and blend to combine. Pour a bit of the yogurt mixture into each of the molds, to a height of about 3/4 inch. Freeze until the mixture begins to set, about 40 minutes. If the blackberries are big, cut them in half. Divide the blackberries among the molds, then pour in the remaining yogurt mixture, dividing it evenly among the molds.
If using conventional molds, snap on the lid and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (45 minutes to 1 hour), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. If using an ice pop maker, gently fold the blackberries into the yogurt prior to filling the molds and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
I love this recipe because it is super customizable, not to mention really healthy. The whole paleta craze is really cool to me…we have Locopops here in North Carolina, and while I’ll never make a bangin’ popsicle like they can, at least I can play around with it at home and experiment.
Now that you’ve got a basic recipe, I’m excited to hear what exciting flavor combinations you come up with! I’m already planning a mango with chile powder adventure next, but for now I’m off to eat some paletas and watch some Olympic soccer. Ciao!