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Tag Archives: homemade popsicles

Watermelon Lime Popsicles

6 Jun

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As utterly boring as it is to hear someone drone on and on about the weather, it can’t be denied that, when you tend to base most of your cooking decisions on the current state of the weather, not thinking and talking about the weather can quickly become a rather taxing enterprise. Making the situation even more complex is the fact that spring in Portland can never make up its everloving mind about whether or not it is going to call for nine days of straight rain and wind, or a solid block of sunny 75 to 80 degree days. How is a person supposed to know what to cook when yesterday was a grilling day, but today is a hearty soup and warm bread day?

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What this is leading up to is the story of how I bought a watermelon when the weather was nice, but then, rather suddenly, the weather turned on me, lashing us with a week of 50 degree days that punished us with nonstop rain and wind. As everybody knows, watermelon is meant to be eaten on warm and sunny days, so there I was, watermelon at the ready, but in no position to partake of it.

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Eventually, as we hope (but never really know) it always will, the sun did come back out. In a city where 75 degrees is as good as 100 degrees, it was watermelon weather again, and I was determined to crack my melon friend open and get to slicing. Wedge after wedge of watermelon was enjoyed and, due to the pleasingly large nature of a watermelon, there was plenty of melon available to freeze into homemade popsicles. And not just any homemade popsicles, my friends—all fruit popsicles, with no sugar added, and only as many ingredients as the number of fruits you choose to squeeze into them. It’s like eating nothing but fruit, because, well, it is eating nothing but fruit, only frozen, and in a pleasing popsicle shape, which, as we all know, is what one does when the sun comes out.

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Last Year: Vegetable Biryani and Baked Brown Butter Oatmeal with Blueberries and Pears

Watermelon Lime Popsicles

4 cups of watermelon chunks, preferably seedless watermelon, but, if not, seeds removed

juice of half a lime

¼ to 1/3 cup fresh fruit of your choice, sliced into small pieces (I used kiwi, but I also like the sound of sliced strawberries or raspberries, or whole blueberries)

In a food processor, puree watermelon chunks until smooth and liquid. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl, using a flexible spatula to urge the puree through the strainer. Stir in lime juice.

Pour watermelon mixture into popsicle molds, filling the molds about ¾ full (I was able to fill 8 molds, with a bit of juice leftover for drinking directly from the bowl with a straw, a clean-up method I highly recommend). As you can see, I filled some molds all the way, in the interest of my son’s request to have some popsicles without fruit chunks in them. Do not place the tops on the molds. Place the molds in the freezer for one hour, until the mixture becomes slightly slushy. Drop bits of fruit into each mold, making sure the mixture does not overflow over the top of the molds. Place the tops on the popsicle molds, then freeze overnight.

To release the popsicles from the molds, run the base of the molds under warm water for about 10 seconds. The popsicles should release with ease.

Makes about eight 3-inch popsicles. Your number of popsicles will vary depending on the size of mold you use.

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Homemade Fudge Pops

25 Apr

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The weather this week has been marvelous. In fact, this entire spring has been marvelous so far. Not only did we get to experience the rare treat known as a sunny Easter weekend, but this week alone has boasted three gloriously warm and sunny days wherein we actually got to eat our dinner outside. Not wearing coats. I know, right? Due to the consistently gray and sorrowful weather we in the Pacific Northwest put up with most of the year, the early appearance of sunlight and warmth tends to excite us more than most people in other parts of the country are able to understand. As soon as we’re gifted a few spring days with no rain, we put away our winter boots. When the clouds part and the sun emerges, we ditch our coats. And when the temperature spikes above 70 degrees? Forget about it. It’s t-shirts, sundresses, picnics, and cold treats all day long.

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Naturally, due to our current spell of 70-plus degree days, it seemed like a good time to make some homemade popsicles. To up the ante, since it seems a little like cheating to claim that you’ve “made” homemade popsicles when, in reality, all you’ve done is pour a bit of juice into some popsicle molds and then waited for the freezer to work its magic, I set aside regular popsicle making in favor of something a bit more special: fudge popsicles.

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It’s actually rather puzzling to me that I initially chose to make fudge popsicles in lieu of fruit popsicles, since I don’t really care for fudge, but I can’t think of any scenario wherein I would turn down an invitation to eat some fruit. But, really, a fudge popsicle (or fudgesicle) is a closer relative to ice cream than proper fudge, and lord knows there is pretty much no situation during which I would turn down an offer to eat some ice cream. These fudge pops offer a nice in between, for those of you who are fans of both ice cream and simpler popsicles. While not as rich as chocolate ice cream, there is certainly more going on here than what one finds in a standard popsicle. Creamy and rich, yet also light and refreshing, I think I have found my new favorite warm weather treat.

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Last Year: Two of my favorites, Lemon, Almond, and Cornmeal Cake and How to Make Homemade Crunchy Herb and Chèvre Croutons

Homemade Fudge Pops (Fudgesicles)

Adapted from On a Stick, by Matt Armendariz

Using the best semi-sweet dark chocolate you can find definitely makes a difference (I used 54% Belgian chocolate with a nice smoky aftertaste).

2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) chopped semi-sweet dark chocolate

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups milk
(I used 1%, and I suspect that a heavier fat milk, or even a mix of milk and heavy cream, would be great here as well)

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan set over very low heat, gently melt the chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, milk and salt. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon or spatula (my mixture took about 5 minutes to thicken up nicely).

Remove from heat, add vanilla, and stir gently until combined.

Set aside to cool slightly (the mixture will thicken even more as it cools) then pour into popsicle molds of your choosing. Freeze for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight in order to obtain the best texture.

Note: After a bit of trial and error, I have found that the best way to release these things from their molds is to run the popsicle molds under a bit of warm water, then gently wiggle the fudge pops free. Trying to pull them out without first warming the molds will result in you most likely just yanking the handles free from the fudge pops themselves, which is just sad.

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