Sour Cream, Cherry, Tequila Ice Pops

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.

69 comments to “Sour Cream, Cherry, Tequila Ice Pops”

  1. …. (static)….. My mind was blown when you combined the words Tequila with ice pops. This is really quite cool – literally and figuratively. I’m impressed.

  2. They look great for a hot summer day indeed. I love the square shape of these. Somehow here we almost only seem to have oval shaped ones. It looks cool in multiple ways :D

  3. These sound absolutely delicious. Where did you find your ice pop molds? Those look a bit more heavy duty than the ubiquitous Tovolo molds.

  4. Those pops look beautiful. Could you tell me or give me the website where you got the ice cream pop mold? I have to make these. Thank you.

  5. I was just reading about this cookbook release yesterday and am quite happy for this review and recipe. If last week was any indication, we are in for a long, hot summer full of paletas.

  6. wow, these look so good. tequila and sour cream sounds unusual but delicious, I need to give these a try!

  7. What an interesting combination! I usually prefer my ice pops on the lighter side, though…you think using low-fat dairy ingredients would work, or would it affect the freezing process?

  8. I can’t believe it got so hot, and then my feet were freezing at beach volleyball last night. Always fun-chicago weather.

    I actually just got a new popscile mold in the mail from Amazon last night. PERFECT TIMING.

  9. Beautiful! I also hate air conditioning, (since ours was always “broken” growing up), but agree that it was totally necessary last week. I just wish I had one of those pops.
    Where did you get your pop sticks? I had the hardest time locating some last year.

  10. Wowzers! This Popsicle is right up my alley. We spent a lot of time in Mexico and every afternoon I had a frozen treat in my hand. This recipe takes me back there but sounds way better!

  11. These look amazing. I’ll have to have a batch of these ready for the next Chicago heatwave…
    How prominent is the tequila flavor in these?

    Also, I totally understand the air-conditioner thing. I thought that my boyfriend and I could make it through the summer without one, but we caved last week and bought one to make it through the heat.

  12. whoa! and there are vanilla beans? this is very many of the best things ever all wrapped up into a heat-warding-off treat. how great! DC is weirdly 70 degrees today, but it’s only a matter of days before we all start melting.

  13. I’ve been intrigued by this cookbook so these sound delicious. I would have never thought to pair dairy & liquor together but from my experience in making ice cream I am sure the tequila is awesome for making for a creamier texture. I also love the vanilla bean in this because I am sure it makes it a little more indulgent.

    But most importantly — where did you get that mold? It looks awesome!

  14. Those look amazing. I’ve had my eye on some ice pop molds at Williams-Sonoma for quite some time. I might just have to splurge and get them so I can try out this recipe.

  15. Wow! I can’t wait for cherries to arrive at the farmers market now.

    Popsicle sticks can be purchased at craft stores. Hood makes a great ‘light’ sour cream. It’s NOT fat free, and tastes like full fat. I’d think it would work very well in this recipe.

  16. Gorgeous color combination, Tim. I hear you on the ‘hot days, smelly people on public transit.’ Even though it is rarely hot in San Francisco (and especially rare for it to hit 90), on days when the temps get in the 70s, the public transit becomes miserable! Have you seen the Bon Appetit spread on summer iced desserts? Yours look so much prettier!

  17. Holy deliciousness!!!! How many delicious flavors can you pack into one paleta?!?! I have had my eyes on that book. Sounds like it might be worth getting. I spent several years in South America and miss the paletas with flavors you don’t see here – corn, avocado, tree tomato, etc. YUM!

  18. Those are absolutely gorgeous! My ice cream maker doesn’t fit into my fridge freezer, but i get I could get a popsicle mold in there.

  19. Perfect timing! I just ordered her book yesterday- can’t wait to try it, though I need some new pop molds. I’m also curious what kind you have in the photo?

  20. 101F in TX today+we love tequila=will make these pops

  21. …These sound PERFECT! Just the thing to have after a long day in the garden, when I can relax in my fav’ rocking chair on the screen porch listening to the cicadas. Maybe the tequila will help drown ’em out…lol :o)

    …Thank you as always for these delicious recipes!

    …You ROCK my friend!

    …Blessings… :o)

  22. Amandolin says:

    June 15th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I just discovered your blog through a friend (who sent me this link with at least a couple OMGs attached), and I’ve already printed this recipe and a half-dozen others with which to whittle away at my summer food blues.

    The pictures alone are worth the sudden halt to my workday productivity. Thanks!

  23. oh, god.

  24. like everyone else, I’d love to know where you got your mold. Down here in New Orleans, every day is HOT this time of year and some ‘delish’ frozen pops would certainly cool things down.

  25. Hey everyone! Thanks for all of these great comments and, as always, for your enthusiasm!
    A couple of things:
    You could try these with reduced fat sour cream, but I would definitely stick with full fat milk. The fat keeps the pops from freezing too hard. If you use lowfat milk, you’ll likely end up with milky ice cubes.
    Also, the molds are available here: as well as other places online. They are made by Norpro.

  26. I just got this book as well. I couldn’t decide which recipe to make first. I think you might have made that decision a little easier.

  27. these look amazing! i met fany the other day at a market here and she is so sweet (no pun intended)!

  28. I have been fighting the urge to buy popsicle molds, thinking I wouldnt use them that often. But sweet heavens, I NEED these! Those flavors all look amazing together. I may try with full fat greek yogurt, get a little extra tang in there.

  29. Any reason this couldn’t be made in a ice cream freezer?

  30. Oh, these sound so good. Tequila and cherries! I am buying popsicle molds this weekend!

  31. Oh yeah this is my type of cold treat! So perfect for keeping cool!

  32. art on a stick nice!

  33. man oh man do I want these…some of my favorite flavors, all frozen together!

  34. So tasty and your photos make them look so cute. Just came across your blog and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of it.

  35. I’m going to eat 2 enchiladas, drink 3 margaritas and eat at least 12 popsicles tonight. Those look incredible and they have tequila in them – love a good adult dessert. Save the cupcakes for the kiddies and let the adults eat popsicles! I just bought a bottle of Campari, perhaps some campari-orangesicles are in order after the cherry-tequilla paletas.

  36. i would also LOVE to know where you got the popsicle mold!

  37. so beautiful tim! why does the combo of sour cream and ice pop sound so good together?! i’m not sure but i am dying to try this recipe out…. with my a/c on of course.

  38. oh, how i remember those sticky chicago summers! i don’t think i could resist eating of those paletas!

  39. Sour Cream, Cherry, Tequila paletas looks really awesome. Combo of sour cream and cherry looks really good.

  40. I had toyed with getting that book a few weeks ago. Your post sealed the deal. It’s already en route, yay! I don’t know where those hot summer days have gone here in Chicago (and out by me in the western ‘burbs), but I’ll be ready for their return :-)

  41. Sivan Harlap says:

    June 24th, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    whoa! this is awesome! will def have to try!!

  42. GORGEOUS! (and tasty too, I bet)

  43. Ya, try 108 degrees! I live here in the armpity of CA, Fresno. We do use the ac here & we don’t feel too bad about it, environmentally speaking( perhaps financially speaking we have some regrets).. Hey, its better than lettin the stifling heat get the better of your mood & comiting homocide right? Well, maybe only us valley folk would understand. Anyway, I ended up with a boatload of cherries, just lucky I guess. Was wondrin if there was a paleta recipe involving fresh cherries & was pleasantly surprised with this one! Especially since sour cream & tequilla are up there on my “on hand ingredient list”. I’m so inspired now that I think I’ll even buy the book Paletas! Yeah! Happy pop makin!

  44. these look absolutely divine! Does the tequila freeze? Most alcohol does not freeze.

  45. I made these this weekend. They are awesome! Also, loved the suggestion to use the syrup in soda – delicious.

  46. Sour cream AND cherries AND tequila??? I am totally drooling! I will have to try this with creme fraiche since we don’t have sour cream here in France. Thanks for sharing!

  47. These ROCK. But I made them with blackberries instead. WOW. I stand here dripping all over the place.

  48. please can you tell me where i can buy this exact mold .

  49. Would it be possible to process this recipe in an ice cream maker if I don’t have pop molds?

  50. q- the link to the molds is in the comments above.
    Megan, no- I would definitely not process this in an ice cream maker. It will freeze too solid. It you don’t have molds, you can always use glasses or paper cups as makeshift molds.

  51. i saw the link above , but they don’t look the same. This one in the picture looks bigger, and i think looks better .Let me know if you know when i can get that.

  52. q- The molds I have photographed in this post were purchased through the link above. They are the exact same thing. I promise.

  53. they look different in the picture .but if you say they are the same i will order them .Since i am in nicosia cyprus .if they are not same i don’t think i can send them back.

  54. Sour Cream and cherries I just bought 3 bags of cherries yesterday. I am so making these but can you not use the Tequila. I don’t drink and do not like alcohol in things I make.

  55. Hey Lauren: Sure, give it a try. The tequila keeps the cherry sauce from freezing solid, which gives these a lovely texture- but worth trying without it. My main fear is that the flavor profile will be a little boring. Maybe think of a creative way to amp it up. (a little cinnamon?) Good luck!

  56. Maybe a extract would help with the flavor.

  57. Sure, you could try almond!

  58. i cannot think of a better idea for these summer days!!!

  59. paletas frías says:

    July 14th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    You should make an arroz con leche or an horchata paleta, mmmm.

  60. So gorgeous! I’m in love with the font you used in the main picture :) Care to share?

  61. These look out of this world! I NEED to buy a popsicle mold now, darn :)

  62. Those look fantastic! Gerson is a genius, isn’t she? I saw her do a cooking demonstration with Patricia Jinich back in May, and got to sample some of her desserts, which were wonderful. I also have both of her books, very worthwhile additions to my collection.

  63. Oh! I saw Paletas at a local bookstore and decided that i might buy it if i had a better popsicle mold.

  64. I was really excited about these. I like everything involved, so what could be bad, right? But I just didn’t like them. I don’t know, just weird…

  65. These look amazing and perfect for summer! I loved “My Sweet Mexico” (I’m only now getting around to cooking from it, though, and I’ve owned it for six months). It looks like I’ll have to add “Paletas” to my list of books to buy!

  66. Would love to know where you got the freezer pop molds? I havent been able to find any good ones.

  67. I made these this weekend & they are AMAZING! It’s like a cherry chese cake with a little fiesta and no rock in your tummy afterwords!

  68. I made these this weekend & WOW! Fiesta cherry cheese cake without the tummy ache! (self confessed lactose challenged here)

  69. Sheila Leilani says:

    July 23rd, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Love the molds!!! The website provided shows plastic ones. Any way you can tell me where to get the one you have in the picture? I’m obsessed with it! :)

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