I am in Houston today before heading out to Mexico on Sunday for my teacher fellowship! I always love coming home to visit family but am taken aback by the crazy Texas heat. There is only one thing on my mind on a hot day like today- fruit paletas!
Mexican paletas are fruity and delicious popsicles that are often characterized by their freshness and fun flavors. One of my favorite paletas as a child was a chamoy paleta. There are no chamoy paletas to be found in Boston, but luckily one of my favorite ice cream shops in Boston, FOMU, carries a seasonal habanero mango flavor that reminds me of the tart and spicy chamoy paletas of my childhood.
When a heat wave hit Boston last week, I knew that habanero mango popsicles would hit the spot, so I made a batch of these paletas and added candied habanero pieces to the bottom of the mold. Turns out the “bottom” of the paleta is the first thing you bite, and so my first bite was liquid fire. After I recovered from the first bite, I fell in love with the spicy and refreshing habanero mango combination. They were perfect on a hot summer day!
These mango habanero popsicles are tart and especially refreshing due to the habanero taste. Although they don’t feel that spicy upon first taste, after the first bite the warmth from the habanero will begin to spread throughout your mouth and tongue. A spicy but fun experience!
That’s all for now, folks. I’m off to pack and spend time with family here in Houston while I can. Let me know if you try these paletas! They are not for the faint of heart.
Notes: Make sure to turn on your stove fan when cooking the habanero syrup because you will cough due to the pepper smell. I added candied habanero pieces to the bottom of my paletas for a nice pop of color, but they increased the spiciness of the paletas significantly, so do this at your own risk. I would add it at the bottom, or wider end of the paleta, for the brave to try at their own risk. Although the recipe calls for 1 ½ tablespoons of habanero syrup, if you don’t have a high tolerance for heat, I recommend that you start with less. Maybe start with ½ tablespoon at a time and see how that feels for you. You don’t need a special tray to make these, I regularly making them in cups, but if you’re looking for a mold, I like this one.
Mango Habanero Paletas
Yields: 3.5 cups of mango puree
Prep time: 20 minutes
Mango Habanero Paletas:
4 mangos, or 2 cups of cut up mango
½ cup water
½ cup of orange juice
1½ tablespoons of candied habanero syrup*
Candied habanero syrup:
4 habanero peppers, deseeded and stemmed
⅔ cup of sugar
⅓ cup of water
1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
- In a small saucepan, add habanero pieces, sugar, water and cider vinegar. Cook on medium low heat until the habaneros begin to crystallize and the simple syrup becomes a pale orange color. Approximately 10 minutes.
- In a blender, puree mangos, orange juice, habanero syrup and water until smooth and uniform in consistency.
- Pour mango habanero puree into paleta molds and freeze until set, about 4 hours.