Paletas de Piña con Chile (Spicy Pineapple Ice Pops)

In Mexico, fruit and chiles are often found together: in fruit stands, where ground chiles are sprinkled over freshly cut fruit; in fruit-flavored lollipops covered with ground chiles; and in many different ice pops. The spiciness in these ice pops comes from a chile-infused syrup and chunks of fresh pineapple tossed with ground chiles, so they have different layers of flavor and spiciness.

Makes 8 to 10


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeño pepper, split lengthwise
  • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled    
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground chiles (piquín, guajillo, or árbol)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the serrano, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Let cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
  4. Finely dice 1½ cups of the pineapple and coarsely chop the rest. Mixed the diced pineapple with the chile and salt and set aside.
  5. Put the coarsely chopped pineapple in a blender or food processor, pour in the syrup, lime juice, and blend until smooth.
  6. Divide the blended mixture among the molds, leaving enough room for the diced pineapple. If using conventional molds, don’t snap on the lids yet. Freeze until the mixture has a slushy consistency, about 30 minutes. (This will prevent the diced pineapple from sinking to the bottom when added.)
  7. Drop the diced pineapple into the ice pops, dividing it evenly among the molds. If it floats, push it down with a small spoon or an ice pop stick.
  8. If using conventional molds, snap on the lid and freeze until solid, about 5 hours. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (45 minutes to 1 hour), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, mix the diced pineapple in with the blended mixture, then pour into the molds and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.