Ok, I take back everything I said about turning on the oven during the summer being worth it. Being outside is unbearable as soon as you step out of the door. The only thing keeping me walking the dog is Pokémon Go. I just want to stay inside and lie on the couch and watch Netflix and read books all day long. At least, I think that’s what I want to do all day long, until my type A personality kicks in after about an hour and urges me to get up and go do something that’s somewhat productive. Like make popsicles with those super-ripe strawberries in the fridge.
Over-ripe berries can be pretty gross if you were planning on eating them fresh. The strawberries get those little splotches on them; the blueberries wrinkle like fingers that have been in the pool too long; the raspberries practically liquify when you try to pick them up. However, as long as they haven’t passed over to the dark side and actually gone bad, they can still pack a lot of flavor. Just not a lot of texture. And this makes them perfect for whirring up into popsicles.
I have tried many homemade fruit pops and never fallen in love with any of them. Here are my issues: if the recipe aims for a wholesome pop and hardly contains anything but fruit, I would rather just eat the fresh fruit than lick it in a frozen form. On the other hand, recipes that have too many other ingredients just dilute the flavor and don’t pack enough of a fruity wallop.
These pops were inspired by a Strawberry-Lime Ice Cream Pie published in Eating Well magazine; I had bookmarked it over a year ago but never made it, because I’m usually only cooking for two and need a party or a cookout to justify making a whole pie. The premise sounded pretty tasty though: strawberries puréed with whipped cream, vanilla yogurt, lime zest, and rum, piled into a graham cracker crust and topped with sliced berries. I wanted to take the same idea and make it into a single-serving popsicle.
Glancing over the recipe, it looked like it might not be strawberry-y enough, so I kept the amount of strawberries the same and cut back on everything else. I also reduced the strawberry purée into a delicious jammy goo just to be 100% certain that plenty of fruit flavor would come through. I removed the seeds with a fine sieve and used lime juice instead of lime zest because I didn’t want anything gritting up the texture. In the end, I got the creamy, tart, undeniably strawberry pop I’d be searching for. They are pretty sweet and fairly rich—it’s really more like ice cream on a stick than what I think of as a traditional popsicle—but they pair beautifully with lying on the couch and watching Netflix.
Note: This is loosely adapted from Eating Well’s Strawberry-Lime Ice Cream Pie.
make about 4 pops
- 2 c. sliced ripe strawberries (about 3/4 of a 1 lb. clamshell pack)
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 Tbsp. white rum
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt (I used full-fat)
- 1/4 c. whipping cream
- In a small food processor, purée the strawberries until liquefied. Remove the seeds by straining the purée through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Place the strained purée, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a bare simmer, then turn the heat to low / medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until thickened and jammy, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- Add the lime juice, rum, vanilla extract, and yogurt to the strawberry purée. Whisk to combine well.
- In a medium bowl—preferably one with a spout—whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in half of the purée-yogurt mixture, and then fold in the rest of it. Stir with a whisk a few times if there are any lumps remaining—we’re not making a soufflé here; a few turns of the whisk isn’t going to ruin it.
- Pour into molds and freeze until solid. It helps to run hot water over the mold to loosen up the pops when you want to remove them.