Excerpted from Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, and Jen Stevenson’s The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket (Artisan).
These fruit-forward ice pops are sunshine on a stick. Each of the following recipes makes eight paletas—for most of them, just purée the fresh fruit and sweetener in a blender on high speed until very smooth, then pour the mixture into an ice-pop mold. Use your fingers, a fork, or best yet, a chopstick to maneuver slivers of fruit or herbs into the pops, and freeze the paletas immediately, as they have a tendency to separate if left on the counter. Place the paletas in your freezer for three to four hours to completely solidify them, then take them to the picnic in a cooler outfitted with dry ice or keep them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Tiny Tip: Purchase an ice-pop tray for universally perfect paletas, or improvise with paper cones, Dixie cups, tall shot glasses, or jelly jars. Freeze the paletas for 30 minutes and then pop a stick through the frozen surface and continue freezing. To free your paletas, peel away paper containers or take glass containers out of the cooler for a few minutes to let the hot air loosen the edges, then hold the ice-pop stick and invert.
- 4 cups chopped strawberries plus 2 strawberries, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Purée the chopped strawberries, honey, and rosemary, and pour the mixture into the molds. Position 2 thin slices of fresh strawberry in the center of each pop, one on either side, and freeze.
- 4 cups chopped plums (about 4)
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
Purée the plums and sugar, pour the mixture into molds, and freeze.
- 4 cups chopped pineapple
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, plus 16 small leaves for garnish
Purée the pineapple and ½ cup mint and pour the mixture into molds. Use a chopstick to position 2 mint leaves in each pop. Freeze.
- 1 large bunch of Concord grapes, washed and halved lengthwise
- 2 cups Muscadet grapes, blended
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Distribute the halved grapes evenly among all eight molds. For the prettiest presentation, use a chopstick to place them so the cut side faces the mold. Mix the grape juice and sugar, then pour it over the grapes and freeze.
- 4 kiwis, peeled
- ½ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups chopped mango
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk
For the kiwi layer, slice the kiwis into ½-inch rounds, then cut each one into 6 tiny triangles. Whisk the coconut milk and sugar together, fold in the kiwi triangles, and pour the mixture into the molds to ll them halfway. Freeze for 30 minutes.
For the mango layer, purée the mango, sugar, and coconut milk. Spoon this mixture over the partially frozen first layer to create a double-layered treat. Freeze completely.