Author Notes: A year or two ago, I was in Mamaroneck visiting a friend, and we stopped into a store that seemed to sell nothing but paletas, in every flavor you can imagine. Since I love rice pudding in all its warm and comforting goodness in the winter, I decided to try the paleta de arroz con leche and see if the icy version was equally good in the summertime. Simply put, it was. This recipe is a twist on that original paleta, using quinoa instead of rice for a nuttier final product, and adding plums for a sweet-tart contrast. I'm really very pleased with how these came out.
Just to note: while the pudding tastes very sweet when hot, you taste the sugar far less once it's frozen. If you tend to like sweeter frozen desserts you might up the sugar to 1/4 cup.
Also, my limited popsicle mold capacity did not allow me to determine exactly how many paletas this recipe can make. I made 4 and had extra stuff which I think could have made another 2 at least, maybe even another 4. If anyone tries this recipe out with more molds at their disposal and figures out the exact yield, please do let me know!
*EDIT: several got eaten, so I refilled the mold, and I suspect the true yield is about 8. Although if you want to get plums in every one, you might need to use a little less than I did per paleta (as you see in the photo above). —summersavory
Makes about 8 3oz. paletas
- 3 plums, semi-ripe (still a bit tart)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Start by peeling, pitting, and dicing the plums. You should end up with ~1.5 cups or so of chopped plum-material. Stir in the sugar and let it all macerate for about 15 minutes.
- Once it's good and macerated, throw it the plums a saucepan and cook it down until the plum chunks cease to be distinguishable and all is gooshy and delicious. Sitr frequently, especially as it begins to cook down, to keep the bottom from burning. If it starts to get very thick before the plum chunks break down, add a splash or two of water to thin it out again and keep cooking. You should end up with about 1 cup of plum goo. Remove from heat and chill until you're ready to make your paletas.
The quinoa pudding, and assembly of paletas:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1 14 oz. can evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- the cooked and cooled plums, from above
- Bring the quinoa and 1 cup of the water to a boil in a small pot. Boil gently, uncovered, for 4 minutes without stirring; then remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Go fold your laundry, or work on your lab report, or what have you-the quinoa has infinite patience. When you're ready, add the other 1/2 cup of water, the sugar, the evaporated milk and the cinnamon stick, and bring it all back to a boil. Then, turn down the heat and simmer it uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed or evaporated away. You'll need to stir it pretty frequently to keep it from burning on the bottom. A skin may form on the surface; that's alright, just stir it right back in. Finally, stir in the cream, continue heating for another minute or two, and then take the pot off the stove. Let it cool.
- When the quinoa has cooled enough not to burn you, carefully extract the cinnamon stick with whatever utensil you please (in my kitchen, fingers may have been used for at least part of this process). If you taste the pudding now, it will taste very sweet, but fear not: when it's frozen you won't taste the sweet nearly as much. Anyway, to make the paletas: layer the pudding and the plum mixture into a popsicle mold, willy-nilly, any way you like. I found it surprisingly difficult to spoon stuff in neatly so I just went for broad stripes, but if you have mad paleta skills, you might try narrower bands, or swirls, or something. The number of paletas you make will depend on (a) your popsicle mold, and (b) your particular balance of plum to pudding. The ratio per paleta is very much to taste.
- Put the filled mold in the freezer for a couple hours or overnight, until the paletas are frozen solid. To serve, run the mold under hot water until you can extract the paletas, and eat!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Quinoa Recipe