New York City theoretically has four seasons, but talk to anyone who lives here (or don’t, they will probably complain to you about this unsolicited, um, not that we know any New Yorkers like that) and they will tell you that we really only have two — face-freezing wintry mix and sticky concrete inferno, with about two weeks in-between of all that is good and glorious on this earth (a popcorn-like explosion of blossoms from treetops to sidewalks and fiery carpets of every color foliage imaginable), or in modern terms, the stuff of which “no filter” Instagrams are made. And, lo, not a minute after those spring petals hit the gutters, we had our first few days of eau de hot trash and a peculiar brand of cloying airlessness at which inner cities excel and I wanted to climb into the freezer and never leave.
So long, oven. Goodbye, hot lattes. Sayonara, casseroles, braises and soups. Hellooooo popsicle season! I’ve been trying to cool my heels (yikes, Deb) in the popsicle category ever since the Summer of 2013, when on such an epic popsicle bender that I was worried about me, too. But I can only stay away so long. Plus, I realized this site didn’t have the most classic of easy homemade popsicles, a yogurt and berry version, and very shortly after trying a homemade one, I realized I never wanted to eat yogurt from a bowl with berries again. Spoons: so very last year.
As with the Summer of 2013, I still firmly believe that nobody who enjoys popsicles should be without Fany Gerson’s Paletas book. I have never made a recipe from the book that fell short of exceeding every expectation of what an ice pop could be. Each is awash in fresh ingredients, not too much sweetness, a perfect texture from the freezer (she credits the use of simple syrup), and a yield that’s downright magical, always filling my popsicle molds with no shortages or excess (how does she DO it?). These were no different, and they’re the prettiest ones yet. Don’t fight it: summer breakfast is served.
Yield: 10 popsicles from these molds, which hold about 1/3 cup liquid each
2 level cups fresh blackberries, or the berry of your choice
2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey
1/2 lemon or 1 small lime
1/2 cup (120 grams) water
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (340 grams) plain unsweetened Greek-style yogurt (1 cup fage = 227 grams)
If your berries are large, especially blackberries, cut them in half. Place berries in non-reactive (i.e. not aluminum or tin, which I suspect you weren’t using anyhow) bowl and squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice over it (save the peel; you’re about to use it). Add honey, stir to combine. Set aside.
Place lemon peel, water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, until it comes to a boil and sugar has dissolved. Gently simmer for 5 minutes more. Strain out peel and chill syrup completely. You can do this in the fridge, but I find it much quicker to set the bowl of syrup in a larger bowl of ice water. Within 15 minutes, it should be quite cold to the touch.
Whisk yogurt and chilled syrup together.
Place the berry mixture and any juices that have accumulated in a blender and whirl until desired texture. (I left a few tiny chunks throughout.) If you loathe the seeds from raspberries or blackberries, puree fully and press through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds. Assemble popsicles by alternating pouring a little of the yogurt mixture, then a little of the berry mixture into each popsicle mold, repeating as desired until you reach 1/4-inch from the tops (to leave room for expansion as they freeze). Use a skewer to lightly swirl the mixtures together.
If using conventional molds, snap on the lid and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (45 minutes to 1 hour), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
First published May 20, 2015 on smittenkitchen.com |
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