3 ripe bananas, or 2 small ripe plantains
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Mexican cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
1 ½ cups dulce de leche, mixed thoroughly at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the bananas (with their skins still on) in foil individually. Roast until cooked through and soft (use tongs to test), about 30 minutes for bananas and 40 minutes for plantains.
2. Let sit just until cool enough to handle. Put the flesh in a bowl, discard the peels and mash the flesh lightly with a fork. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until the sugars have dissolved.
3. Put the banana mixture in a blender. Add the milk, cream, vanilla, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and rum and blend until smooth. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until completely chilled.
4. If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds, filling about a third of the way up. Put about 1 teaspoon of dulce de leche in each mold and repeat layering between the dulce de leche and the banana base.
5. Use a skewer to swirl slightly when it's filled up top. 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 (1 to 2 hours), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Adapted recipe for MUNCHIES with permission from Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice, & Aguas Frescas by Fany Gerson, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.