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Paletas de Coco Fresco



Preheat the oven to 325F.
Place the coconut on a towel with the eyes facing up.
Pierce each eye with a screwdriver or ice pick, then empty out the coconut water.
(Strain it and reserve for another use, or enjoy it on its own as a cold beverage.
) Get out as much liquid as possible by turning the coconut upside down and shaking it.
Put the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until it begins to crack, 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Put the coconut on a towel and use the bottom (nonsharp) edge of a knife or a hammer to tap it all around and help you crack it open.
Remove the outer brown shell with your hands, then use a paring knife to remove the thin brown skin.
Cut the cleaned coconut into pieces and shred it using a hand grater or food processor.
If youd like ribbons of coconut inside the paletas, use a vegetable peeler to cut a few thin strips of the roasted coconut before shredding it.
Place the strips in a bowl and toss with the salt.
Working in batches, blend the coconut with the hot water until as smooth as possible, then strain through a colander or sieve lined with cheesecloth.
Squeeze the cheesecloth to extract as much juice as possible, and discard any leftover coconut.
Put the strained liquid in a large saucepan, then stir in the milk, sugar, and cinnamon, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Keeping in mind that the sweetness will diminish as the mixture cools off, taste and add more sugar if you like.
Let cool to room temperature, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
Stir in the rum.
If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid, about 5 hours.
(If you created ribbons of coconut, add them to the molds before adding the liquid.
) If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (1 1/2 to 2 hours), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours.
If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturers instructions.