Peach Paletas with Red Chile
Summer days call for refreshing treats. Paletas are a Mexican ice pop and my favorite ones are made with in-season fruit, a bit of sugar, and a little citrus. It’s pretty much a magical combo. I made this recipe for a “Modern Ranch” pop-up dinner party for The Nomad Kitchen in July 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. Yes, an outside dinner party in July in Tucson. Needless to say, it was hot. The venue was beautiful despite the heat and the guests really enjoyed the grounds at Saint Ann’s Chapel.
The peach paletas were a HUGE hit - it was the perfect way to cool down with a light and tasty desert. I err on the side of less sugar to highlight the naturally sweet flavors of the peaches, but you can play with the ratios if you want a sweeter treat. It’s important to use ripe or over-ripe peaches for this recipe.
Takes 15 minutes to make / 3-6 hours to freeze
Makes 8 paletas
2 1/2 cups ripe or slightly over-ripe peaches (about 4 medium sized peaches)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1-2 limes depending on size)
In a small saucepan, mix sugar and water over medium-low heat. Stir and dissolve sugar to make a simple syrup. Meanwhile, cut, twist, and remove pits from peaches, roughly chop peaches leaving skins on and reserve one half of peach to finely cube (to add to purée). Juice limes.
Add chopped peaches, simple syrup, lime juice, and Hatch Red Chile Powder to food processor or blender. Start on low and slowly increase speed to blend. Blend until smooth or until you reach your desired consistency - you can puree all the ingredients or pulse leaving in some chunks. Pour mixture into ice molds leaving enough space to add finely cubed peaches. Place in freeze for 30 minutes until mixture is a slushy consistency. Add finely cubed peaches at this point and mix in with wooden stick or utensil. (Adding at this point will avoid the cubes sinking to the bottom.) Add wooden ice pop sticks or snap on tops. Place in freezer for 3-6 hours until frozen.
Cook’s Note: If you’re craving these in the winter or when peaches are not in season, you can use frozen peaches. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are sure bets. Of course, fresh peaches are always better, but frozen will do in a pinch. If you are feeling super spicy, dip the top of the paleta in the Hatch Red Chile Salt - it makes an extra salty/spicy treat and it’s pretty too!
If you are having trouble removing the paletas from the mold, run the molds under warm water until they release. If it takes you longer than a day or two to eat these, store paletas in a sealed plastic bag to avoid freezer burn and freezer smells. Last thing: if you don’t like to consume cane sugar, you can omit the sugar and make these using straight up fruit, water, lime, salt, and chile!