It has been WAY too hot this week. Just in time for the first day of summer, the temperatures here in Topeka reached 100+ degrees F. What, exactly, did people do before air conditioning became commonplace? I think I probably would have just sat around, fanning myself and sighing dramatically. Cue the violins!

As I am sometimes prone to do while working at night, I got a little restless and decided to make some treats for the work dudes. I wandered off to a 24 hour grocery and picked up the ingredients to make some key lime pie paletas. (Paletas, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is the Spanish word describing an ice pop usually made from fresh fruit. I’ve been enamored with them since checking out Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas from the library.) I’d stashed my ice pop mold at work the day before, thinking it would come in handy with the heat index rising.

Key Lime Pie Paletas

Key Lime Pie Paletas

The verdict? The guys who tried them all gave me good feedback. And, having snacked on a few myself, I concur! I unmolded them all and, after pressing them into the graham cracker crumbs, bagged them all individually in zip close sandwich bags. And now… they’re nearly all gone!

Quick note: the all night market I popped into had limes but they looked really terrible. There was no way that I was going to use either their juice or their zest so I grabbed a couple of small squeeze bottles of key lime juice. I’d have rather used fresh juice and zest but, in this case, I thought this was the better way to go. They still tasted great!

Recipe: Key Lime Pie Paletas
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 paletas
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed key lime juice (or regular lime)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime zest, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers or Maria cookies
  1. Add lime juice, zest, condensed milk, half-and-half and salt to a medium sized bowl.
  2. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour into ice pop molds. After about an hour and a half and when the paletas are starting to harden up, insert the ice pop sticks. (Or, if you have a quick pop maker, follow the manufacturer's freezing instructions.)
  4. Freeze until completely frozen, about 5 hours.
  5. Dip mold into warm water for 5-10 seconds and remove paletas from mold. Press into cookie crumbs to coat completely. Wrap and return to freezer or enjoy right away!

BTW, this is the ice pop mold that I’ve been using. It has worked well thus far. It is sturdy and unmolds well. (Click on the image for the details at Amazon.)