A cousin of popsicles, paletas are Mexican-style frozen treats that usually rely on fresh fruit juice as their base and often have chunks of fresh fruit stirred in. America's Test Kitchen thought the idea was perfectly suited for a naturally sweet dessert, and chose to create strawberry paletas.
We used the berries in two ways: First, we pureed half of them to a smooth consistency with a small amount of honey for sweetness. We pulsed the rest of the berries to a coarse chop to ensure bites of fresh fruit throughout our pops. For richness, we wanted to add some dairy to our paletas, and tested milk, half-and-half and heavy cream. Pops made with milk and half-and-half were too icy, but heavy cream provided just the right velvety texture.
Strawberry Cream Paletas
Makes 6 paletas
1 pound strawberries, hulled (3 cups)
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon salt
This recipe was developed using 3-ounce popsicle molds. We prefer the flavor of fresh strawberries in this recipe; however, you can substitute 1 pound frozen strawberries, thawed and drained on paper towels to dry.
1. Process 1½ cups strawberries, cream, honey, lemon juice and salt in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add remaining 1½ cups strawberries and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 5 pulses. Transfer mixture to large liquid measuring cup.
2. Divide strawberry mixture evenly among six 3-ounce molds. Insert popsicle stick in center of each mold, cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 5 days. To serve, hold mold under warm running water for 30 seconds to thaw.
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