Introduction: Love & Popsicles
These are coconut-strawberry popsicles, made using a paletas recipe. Paletas are Mexican popsicles made with fresh fruit.
I came up with the idea for these popsicles when brainstorming for the Instructables 'Frozen Treats Contest.' I was inspired by previous photos I'd seen of popsicles made with whole pieces of fruit. I thought they looked just beautiful and wanted to attempt the same.
Step 1: Ingredients
Here are the ingredients I needed for making the popsicles:
14 oz can of coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup ice cubes
Popsicle Mold w/Sticks
* This recipe makes about 8 popsicles
I found a recipe online for "Mexican coconut popsicles' and modified it only slightly: http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/sweetsanddesserts/r/Mexican-Coconut-Popsicles.htm
The popsicle molds were a bit tricky to find now that it's the end of summer, but I did manage to find a set of 4 at Target.
Step 2: Make the Popsicles
On the stove, bring the coconut milk to a slow simmer. Add the sugar and stir occasionally until the sugar has melted into the milk. Remove from the heat and pour it into a large bowl, preferably one that will be easy to pour from later. Add some ice to cool the coconut milk. When the ice is melted, add in the milk, heavy cream, vanilla, and coconut flakes. I started with adding about 1/2 cup of coconut flakes but kept adding more until I might have added about a cup. I felt that it was enough when I gave it a stir and it was clear that there were coconut flakes.
Pour the coconut mixture into each mold until about 3/4ths full. Set aside and now you're ready to prepare the strawberries.
Step 3: Making Strawberry Hearts
I had fun with this step and I think that you'll find that it turns out to be easier then you'd think.
After selecting the strawberries that you think are the best, de-stem them and slice them in half. Once they're in half, you'll notice that some are slightly hollow on the inside. Choose those that aren't, it'll make positioning them within the popsicle mold easier and better clarity of color.
Turn the half-strawberry slice on its side and cut a thin slice. Make a few slices until the half is cut up. Try to make the slices as straight as possible so that the strawberry slivers are as flat.
Now you can probably begin to see the outline of hearts in the slices of strawberry that you've made. Using a knife, trim the tops of each slice so that the arches are more pronounced. Make many of them so that you have a selection of the best ones. I found myself not choosing the ones that were very white in the center. Snack away on those that don't work quite right!
Step 4: Assembly
Putting it all together!
Now that the strawberry pieces are prepared, you are ready to place them in the popsicle molds. Place a strawberry slice at the top of a mold with the arches of the heart pointing downwards. Using a utensil, press the strawberry slice as flat to the side of the mold as possible and slide it down into the mold. In general, I found that the strawberry slices would stick rather well to the side of the mold. If one does start to float or isn't sticking very well, then pull it out and pick a different slice from the selection. I chose a knife to help me in positioning the strawberries. You can place strawberry hearts on both sides of the popsicle mold.
After you are happy with how it looks, add more of the coconut mixture until the popsicle mold is almost full. To top it off, I added some more small slices of strawberries. These can be leftovers from making the heart shapes. I did this at first as an attempt to keep the strawberries from floating to the top while the molds were in the freezer. I found that this did help and also was a delicious addition. I really like the combination of the coconut and strawberry flavors. With just the heart shape made out of strawberry, adding more to the bottom of the popsicle helped to balance the flavors more.
Once you are finished, add the top to the popsicle mold and place them in the freezer.
Step 5: Enjoy!
After the popsicles are frozen (a few hours or more), remove them from the freezer. I ran mine under hot water for a few seconds to loosen them up in the molds.
(I took more photos when the second batch was done in the evening)