If you know me, you know the first place my mind went was to popsicles, followed very closely by a cocktail. Since Leslie and I usually lean towards a Mexican-inspired twist during our time together in the kitchen, I decided to make an early morning pot of atole de fresa, or strawberry atole.
If you've never tried atole before, it's a warm drink that's thickened lightly with masa. It can be made in pretty much any flavor you can imagine, but it's that earthy corn undertone that makes it so recognizable...and loved.
My husband tells lively stories from his childhood, colored with memories of his abuela ladeling steaming hot atole into a jarro (clay mug). She'd start pouring low to the jarro, then raise the ladle high, a ribbon of hot liquid rising into the air. She'd then pour it from one jarro to another, to help cool it off. But, his abuelo was impatient, and didn't want to wait. So he'd snatch his jarro and suck it loudly and (oddly enough) super fast!
However, I didn't stop there. I still had the idea of popsicles (or paletas) floating around in my brain. So, I wondered what would happen if I poured the atole into molds and stuck them in the freezer. I added some fresh strawberry slices for interest, and then went for it.
What happened was delicious frozen atole. What!? Think of it like frozen hot chocolate (which is totally a thing, in case you didn't know). Even my Mexican liked them. Just think of it as a fun twist. Make a batch of atole, drink half, and pour the rest into popsicle molds for double to goodness.
Now, I went the paletas route, but guess what Leslie made today? Fresh Strawberry Margaritas! We're always on similar wavelengths. Now I get paletas AND cocktails. Happy National Strawberry Month!
Strawberry Atole + Strawberry Atole Paletas
This warm, masa-thickened strawberry atole recipe is the perfect way to take the chill off. Or, switch things up by turning it into paletas!
Prep Time: 10 mins (+ time to freeze for paletas)
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Keywords: beverage dessert snack vegetarian soy-free nut-free masa strawberries popsicles Mexican
Ingredients (1 quart or 10-12 paletas)
- 1 3/4 cups hot water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled & halved
- 1/2 cup masa harina
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup finely granulated sugar
- pinch of finely ground anise seeds, optional
Combine hot water, strawberries, and masa harina in the jar of a blender. Cover the blender, then blend until smooth. Pour into a medium-sized saucepan.
Set the pan over medium heat and stir in the milk, sugar, and ground anise seeds (if using). Gently bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. It should be lightly thickened.
Pour into mugs and serve hot.
- Allow atole to cool slightly.
- Cut 10-12 strawberries into 1/4-inch slices; divide slices evenly among the popsicle molds. Pour the slightly cooled atole into the molds, leaving about 1/4 of space at top.
- Freeze until solid, at least 4-6 hours, inserting popsicle sticks at the correct time for your molds.
-atole ever-so-slightly adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless
What happens when two American girls who are both married to Mexican guys find out that although one of them lives in the U.S. and one of them lives in Mexico, they both love eating the same food? Well, naturally they decide to get "together" the only way they can and cook up the same dishes. Or perhaps take the same ingredients and talking about them in their own voice or using them in their own way.
Leslie and I have teamed up to occasionally cook/bake/make a our own versions of the same food. We want to see how similar (or how different) they turn out. Other times we will pick an ingredient and use it however we choose...or maybe just talk about it. Good food knows no borders and we hope to share the food we love with you. It's not a competition, it's a showcase. We will post on the same day as each other and would love to hear your thoughts on what we've made and how you make it.
You might also like:
Champurrado (Atole de Chocolate)
Strawberry Cheesecake Pops
Strawberry Pink Moscato Ice Pops
Tamal de Fresa (Strawberry Tamales)