It was so hot here last week.
Chicago experienced the hottest weather we have had in years. 97 degrees. It was kind of miserable. Streets were buckling, people were smelly and public transportation was a bit of a nightmare. I understand the environmental concerns regarding air conditioning, and I feel guilty every time I turn it on, but on days like those I am so grateful for the cool air filling our apartment—and for paletas.
A great perk of my blog is that sometimes cookbooks just show up in the mail. Paletas by Fany Gerson arrived unannounced, but most welcome—especially in the middle of a heat wave. I really loved Gerson’s first book My Sweet Mexico, and spent hours reading it and bookmarking recipes. But for some reason, I have yet to try making anything. That wasn’t the case with the paletas book. Within a couple days of receiving it I had made these sour cream, cherry and tequila paletas. They are an especially delicious frozen treat and pretty easy to put together. You can even use frozen cherries if you are impatient for them to arrive at your local market.
I think I’ll be making a lot of ice pops this summer. They are great for walks around town, or for laying on your couch in the air conditioning.
Sour Cream, Cherry, and Tequila Paletas (recipe by Fany Gerson)
- 8 ounces stemmed and pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons silver or blanco tequila
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
Put the cherries in a nonreactive saucepan with the confectioners’ sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and simmer, stirring often, until the syrup has thickened and has a consistency like maple syrup. Remove from the heat, stir in the tequila, and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid for another use (soda!). Combine the milk, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. If using vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the mixture, then add the pod. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just comes to a boil.
Remove from the heat, add the sour cream, and stir with a whisk until completely smooth. If using vanilla extract, stir it in at this point. Let cool slightly, then discard the vanilla bean and refrigerate the mixture until completely chilled.
Put a bit of the sour cream mixture into each of your molds, to a height of about 1 inch. Freeze until the mixture begins to set, about 30 minutes. Divide the drained cherries among the molds, then pour in the remaining sour cream mixture, dividing it evenly among the molds.
Freeze until solid.