I am dying to try this new Mark Bittman recipe for home-made popsicles! Mojito on a stick? Yes please!
Fruity, Savory, Creamy, Boozy
By MARK BITTMAN
The summertime appeal of ice pops (as they’re properly called — “Popsicle” is a trademarked word that’s become a default name) is easy to understand. They’re sweet, colorful, lickable and a manageably small snack in an age of gargantuan portions. They recall a simpler time, before the era of artisanal-gelato shops.
And they’re cold.
Not surprisingly, though, the Popsicles you buy at the local corner store tend to be sickeningly sweet and neon bright, thanks to an abundance of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Thankfully, this is something you can easily remedy, since it’s child’s play to make ice pops at home, as long as you have a blender or a food processor (and for some recipes, not even that); some ice-pop molds, either purchased or jury-rigged; and a freezer.
You might be surprised at what you can freeze, and what tastes good frozen. The suggestions here represent just a few possibilities and, I think, interesting ones.
Some, like Creamsicle (another trademark) and cherry-vanilla, are re-creations of childhood treats, though without the unpronounceable ingredients. Others, like the entire savory quadrant, were inspired by flavor profiles I’ve come to appreciate as an adult.
The boozy ones, similarly, are intended for a grown-up palate and have enough alcohol in them to serve as an aperitif (try the mojito) or afternoon attitude adjuster.
If you don’t have, and don’t want to buy, plastic molds, just pour the mix into four to six paper cups and stick them in the freezer. After an hour or so, insert a wooden stick into each cup — the mixture will have solidified enough that the stick should stay upright — and continue to freeze until totally solid. To remove the pops from their molds, run them under cool running water for a few seconds to loosen them. Then unmold and lick to your heart’s content.
Purée 2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons basil leaves and water as needed to get the machine going.
Purée 2 cups pitted cherries, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and water as needed.
Purée 2 cups chopped fresh peaches (peeled or not), 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1⁄2 pinch fresh ginger and water as needed.
Purée 2 ripe avocados, 1⁄4 cup lime juice, 1⁄2 cup cilantro leaves, 1 1⁄2 cups water and salt and pepper.
Purée 1 pound tomatoes, 1⁄2 small seeded cucumber, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 1 garlic clove, 1⁄2 cup water and plenty of salt and pepper.
Purée 2 cups coconut milk, 1 inch fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 small hot fresh chili, 2 tablespoons lime juice and salt and pepper.
Whisk together 2⁄3 cup whole milk, 1 1⁄3 cups orange juice, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla until the sugar dissolves.
Cook 2 cups milk, 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder over medium-low heat, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cool slightly before freezing.
Purée 2 medium bananas, 1 cup milk, 1⁄4 cup sugar, 1⁄4 cup peanut butter and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chopped roasted peanuts into each ice-pop mold before adding banana mixture.
Make simple syrup: cook 1⁄4 cup sugar and 1⁄4 cup water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Combine with 1 1⁄2 cups grapefruit juice and 1⁄2 cup Campari.
Make simple syrup as described. Purée with 2 cups roughly chopped fennel and 1⁄2 cup Pernod or other anise liqueur.
Make simple syrup as described. Purée with 1⁄3 cup rum, 1⁄2 cup mint leaves, 1⁄3 cup lime juice and 1 cup water.