Frozen Desserts: Part 7

I used to live in Santa Ana, which is a city with a very large Latino population. In almost every neighborhood you would see paleteros pushing carts full of paletas to sell in the afternoons. I'd often hear them ringing their bells as they passed by my office or house, and if it was a hot day I'd go out with a dollar and come back in with a coco or sandía flavored one. It was always the perfect snack to get through a hot afternoon. 

Where I live now there is still a significant Latino population, but there is no paletero that comes down my street. So, I make my own. Luckily they are quick and easy. I've been enjoying these a lot in the past few weeks with the super hot weather we've been having. Make them now and enjoy these final days of summer.

Watermelon, Mint and Lime Paletas

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
3 heaping cups cubed watermelon (seeds are okay)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine sugar, water and mint leaves in small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. This will only take a few minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Strain the mint syrup into blender. Discard mint leaves. Add watermelon and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour through a strainer into a pitcher or large liquid measuring cup. Pour mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.

Makes 6-8 depending on the size of your molds. 


KCRW 5th Annual Pie Contest

I'm interrupting the frozen dessert series to share good news. I got 3rd place again at the KCRW Good Food Pie Contest!

Anyway, the contest was much the same as last year although there were a record 350 entrants this year. Last year my prize was in the nut category. This year I entered the cream category with my Toasted Coconut & Banana Cream Pie. It is an all-butter crust filled with a coconut pudding that is studded with toasted coconut. It's got a layer of sliced bananas in the middle and is topped with whipped cream and more toasted coconut. With 68 contestants in that category alone I am very happy to have placed third.

Toasted Coconut & Banana Cream Pie

I also entered a Cherry Pie with Coconut-Almond Crumb Topping in the vegan category. It didn't place, but I was happy with the way it turned out. That pie (including the practice ones I'd made in the weeks before the contest) was my first time making a vegan pie. I'm just excited that Moby may have tasted it; he was one of the judges in the vegan category.

Vegan Cherry Pie with Coconut-Almond Crumb Topping

I took my customary picture with Evan Kleiman, the host of Good Food. At least I hope it becomes customary.  That's two gold ribbons. Do you think I can get a blue ribbon next year? Looks like I've got a year of yummy pie baking ahead of me to find out.

Evan Kleiman and me

Celebrating with my boys again.
Thank you KCRW!