March, 2011

The Blackberry-Yogurt Breakthrough

Sweet tooth=satisfied.

You’ve read about our mistakes, our breakdowns, the moments when we doubted that an ice pop could be as glorious thing as I’d imagined when I first dreamed up 10,000 Licks. But we’ve had a flavor breakthrough, you see, and its name is Blackberry. Yogurt. Honey. Yeah, punctuated just like that.

I found the basic recipe on Smitten Kitchen, which is a site that you should be be reading rightthissecond if you, like me, enjoy big beautiful pictures of super tasty food almost as you like eating super tasty food. I have since discovered that the recipe, which originated in Bon Appetit, was actually developed by our quasi-competitors– People’s Pops in New York City. Oops. Luckily, the thing that really rocked this recipe was the raw honey that Sarah Newberry brought from her aunt’s hives in Canada. And that right there makes ours unique. More importantly, at this stage we’re just practicing flavor and consistency, and anything that works now will be tweaked until it’s both 1) irresistibly, addictively delicious and 2) uniquely ours and uniquely Minnesota. But on to the divine experience of making and eating these pops.

Miss Patty, gettin' her puree on.

During our popsicle practice session, we tried out three recipes, and Patty was in charge of this one. She began by making a simple syrup (classic ice pop ingredient, I’m learning), and while that was heating up, she pureed the blackberries in the blender. (By the way, we’d considered just not even trying fruit recipes at this stage, since virtually nothing’s in season–but upon reflection we decided it’s best to get the recipes down now, and modify them later once we have awesome, seasonal fruit to work with. After all, if a fruit pop tastes good with Chilean blackberries, it’s going to ROCK with the ones from my neighbor’s yard).

Once the berries were pureed, Patty smooshed them through some cheesecloth, which was the next best thing to a fine strainer (should probably buy one of those). Next, she combined 2 cups of that puree with lemon juice, honey, yogurt, and the now-ready simple syrup, and voila! They were ready to go in their molds.

Blackberry yogurt pops co-mingle with the other flavors.

By the next morning, these suckers were ready to be enjoyed. They were AMAZING. And I ate them near-daily until every last one was gone.

Not a great photo, but what an amazing pop!

Next up: The ginger creamsicle pops- divinely delicious, though probably better as ice cream.


I’ll admit, it’s tempting, after last weekend’s wildly successful popsicle practice session, to skip ahead to all that good stuff and tell you all about the downright divine ice pops we came up with. But I’m afraid that first you’ll have to suffer with me through a play-by-play of the popsicle session before the one that succeeded. I like to call that episode, Chai-Tastrophe. Because it was.

Now, I’ve heard it said that “you can freeze anything and turn it into a popsicle!” but friends, I’m here to tell you that that is not the case. Because I’ve tried. Apple cider? Sticky, sugary ice cubes. Cherries in milk? I should have known. But surely, I thought, SURELY Masala Chai, that most creamy and soothing of beverages, will make a good ice pop.

Here’s my not-so-secret recipe for a delicious pot of chai– it’s tried and true.

4 whole cloves
2 green cardamom pods (crush them and use only the seeds and stuff on inside)
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 piece ginger, about the size of a small grape, peeled and chopped
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 tbs Turbinado sugar (not sure what the distinction is)
2 tbs black tea, preferably Assam

Boil the spices with the water for about 7 min. In the meantime, heat the milk on low. When spice/water mixture has boiled for about 7 min, add the sugar and warmed milk. Remove the mixture from heat. Add the tea leaves; steep for 4 minutes (or until a nice, light brown color). Strain. Enjoy! Now here’s me making a pot of chai in the hopes that I’ll be able to freeze it into magical ice pops…
The water-and-spices part smells amazing!

Yum– here’s where you pour the tea leaves into the milk-and-spices concoction!

And once it’s steeped for a few minutes…. the results! Freaking delicious. But wait there’s more.  Because next I pour the remaining liquid into ice pop molds. And you have to admit– they’re adorable! I ask you: How could they not be delicious frozen when I could have slurped each of them up right then, and been deliriously happy?

I tucked them each in with their little hats…

Then into the freezer they went! And twenty-four hours later, when I opened up our freezer to enjoy a nice cold pop after a sub-zero walk… what did I find?!?? Viewer discretion advised.

Yuck. Icy, mealy, flavorless yuck. Next up… the big breakthrough!