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Spicy Pineapple Paletas

Honey-sweet pineapple is given a hit of heat with fresh jalapeños.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Hispanic, Latin American, Mexican
Keyword jalapeño, paletas, pineapple, popsicles
Prep Time 15 minutes
freezing time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 paletas
Calories 17kcal

Equipment

  • popsicle molds (two if possible)
  • popsicle sticks
  • high-powered blender

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) honey
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) water (or tequila blanco for adult-only paletas)
  • 1 large (8 cups or 1 kilogram) pineapple peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 large jalapeño peppers
  • 1 large lime juiced (2 tablespoons or 30 milliliters)

Instructions

Make the Honey Syrup

  • In a 1-quart, microwave-safe bowl, heat the honey and water together for 15 seconds on high heat.
  • Use a spatula or whisk to stir the two together until combined. Set this syrup aside.

Prep the Peppers

  • Trim the stem off one of the peppers, then cut it in half across its width.
  • Cut one-half of the pepper into large, 1/2-inch wide chunks.
  • Slice the remaining half and the bottom half of the second pepper, into paper-thin slices on the diagonal. This will give you 1 1/2 peppers total for the recipe.
  • Reserve the thinly sliced peppers for later.

Blend the Spicy Pineapple Mixture

  • Add the chunks to the blender, seeds, and all.
  • Next, add the pineapple chunks to the blender. Finally, add the honey simple syrup.
  • Blend these for 1 minute at high speed or until it is very smooth.

Prep, then Fill the Popsicle Molds

  • Use a popsicle stick to press one or two slices of jalapeños onto the wall of each popsicle mold.
  • Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds after lining them with the peppers.
  • Fill the mold cavities with the pineapple mixture, leaving 1/8-inch headspace at the top.
  • Cover the molds and insert wooden popsicle sticks, leaving 1/2-inch of the stick exposed.

Freeze, then Unmold the Paletas

  • Freeze the paletas for a minimum of 3 hours if you're using metal molds. If you're using any other type of mold, freeze them overnight.
  • After freezing the paletas completely, unmold them.
  • Wrap each paleta in a square of wax or parchment paper immediately after removing them from the mold and set it on a small sheet pan.
  • After wrapping the paletas in the protective paper, place them on a sheetpan and pop them back into the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the now firm paletas to a freezer storage bag. Storing paletas in freezer bags keeps them tasting fresh for as long as possible.

Notes

Swaps and Substitutions: 

  • You can make these spicy pineapple paletas vegan by swapping out the honey and using agave syrup in its place.
  • Use the sweetest pineapple you can find. For unique-looking paletas, use Pink Glow or Jewel pineapples
  • You can omit the jalapeños from this recipe to make plain pineapple paletas that aren't spicy.
  • Replace the jalapeños with serrano chiles for a bit more spice. 
  • You can sprinkle a pinch of tajín or chipotle chile powder for extra spice, or swirl in a 1/2 tablespoon of chamoy into each cavity. 

Tips and Techniques:

  • Heating the honey makes it more fluid, so it doesn't solidify before the paletas ingredients have a chance to blend thoroughly
  • The thinly sliced jalapeños should stick to the popsicle mold's walls if they're freshly cut. If not, you can brush them with a little warmed honey to make them stick. 
  • Dipping the paletas in a bowl of warm water makes unmolding easier. Make sure the water is warm, not hot, or it will melt the paletas.
  • To unmold your popsicles from silicone molds, flip the mold upside down and run warm water over the bottom. 
  • Wrapping paletas in paper wrapping keeps the paletas from sticking together or growing ice crystals in the freezer.
  • Putting the unmolded paletas onto a metal sheetpan in the freezer helps them firm up again, making them less messy to package for storage.

Storage Instructions:

  • Freeze paletas for 2 months in a freezer storage bag in the middle of the freezer to keep them from developing ice crystals every time you open the freezer door.
  • Always press out any air from the bag when you remove a paleta from the bag. Air will also contribute to ice crystals and a decreased flavor. 

Nutrition

Calories: 17kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg