Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homemade Frozen Fruit Pops For a Long, Hot Summer

It’s official: we’re having a heatwave. Not a tropical one, but a heatwave, nonetheless. It hit 103°F in Central Park the other day, and anything that involved being outside for any substantial period of time was downright dangerous. Having gone out a few times to do some simple errands, I felt like a pie that was baking in a big

oven. Today is better, but the humidity has skyrocketed to a state of near-rain. With weather like this, even ice cream is too much to eat. This is popsicle weather—nothing is quite as refreshing as a frozen, homemade ice pop made with fresh fruit. Frozen pop shops are opening up all over, with innovative takes on classic flavors. 

One shop offers a Wasabi Fudgesicle, while another features a Mango Chili Pop. The nice thing about making frozen pops at home is that they’re super-easy to make and require just a few hours of freezing time before they’re ready. I made three flavors: 

Strawberry Basil, Orange Yogurt Creamsicles and Coconut Lime (my favorite), but I’ve got lots of other flavors in mind. Which is good, because it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

Note: I used Norpro frozen pop molds, which are available from

Strawberry Basil Pops

Makes 7-8 frozen pops

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
¾ cup sugar
½ cup basil leaves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt

1. Cut the strawberries in half, place them in a bowl, and toss them with the sugar. Cover the bowl and let refrigerate for 1 hour, until the strawberries have given off some liquid.
2. Combine the strawberries (with their liquid), basil, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
3. Pour into 3-ounce molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Orange Yogurt Creamsicles

Makes 6-7 frozen pops

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
½ cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. Combine the orange juice and zest in a blender and process for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
2. Pour into 3-ounce molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Coconut Lime Frozen Pops
Makes 8 pops

3/4 cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
14-ounce can of coconut milk 
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2, Combine remaining ingredients with simple syrup in blender and process until blended. Pour into 3-ounce molds and freeze for at least 4 hours, or until firm.