You know when you get all nostalgic for those childhood foods you haven’t eaten in years, things like bright-orange cheezies, gum balls and breakfast cereal with sugar as the first ingredient? Okay, maybe I should rewrite that sentence to just read “I”. I won’t hold you responsible for the same questionable childhood eating habits I had. Unless you want me to…
But those foods–that nostalgia! I vividly remember eating dripping chocolate fudge popsicles on hot, crowded beaches in Vancouver. Those purple, possibly grape flavoured ones too. Something that was ice cream dipped in chocolate and called a Revello? Yes. Freezies that were super sweet and also distractingly acidic, I assume from the functionally fruitless artificial flavour? Oh, how growing up ruins all the fun.
I’m going to tread lightly around the issue of what species of popsicles we made at home (love you, Mum!). Let’s just say they were earnestly juice-filled, but very icy and not that memorable. So when I learned from the best that I could get my own retro-styled popsicle mold, complete with wooden popsicle sticks, not to mention a host of flavourful, fascinating recipes, I was all, Where’s my Visa at?
So today I bring you the first creation that came out of my new favourite summer gadget: Blueberry-lemon yogurt-swirl popsicles. Because I could have gone straight for something candy-like, as in the popsicles of yore, but if I’m going to have Little e and the Tiger start expecting homemade popsicles every summer (and I truly hope they do), I want to start with something at least partly wholesome. These are on my to-do list once I’ve worked my way up to a full-on dessert version…to be eaten when kids are abed, of course.
Blueberry-Lemon Yogurt-Swirled Popsicles (Because all the best foods have double-barrelled names)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Fany Gerson’s Paletas
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt
Place the blueberries and honey in a food processor or blender and process until as finely pureed as possible. If you don’t have a Vitamix or something similar (I don’t), you won’t get the mixture completely smooth, and that’s okay. Set aside.
Place water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, until it comes to a boil and sugar has dissolved. Gently simmer for 5 minutes more. Chill syrup completely.
Whisk yogurt and chilled syrup together.
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 a few centimeters from the tops (to leave room for expansion as they freeze). Use a skewer or spoon to lightly swirl the mixtures together.
If you have a mold like mine, 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.
I also found it much easier to pull all the popsicles out of the mold once frozen and wrap them individually in wax paper, then stack in a freezer bag. This makes for 1) easy retrieval and 2) less mess during retrieval and 3) a Christmas-morning grin on pre-schooler faces when unwrapping. My work here is done.