Although I never had a backyard pool as a kid, I spent many a hot summer afternoon in my neighbor's pool practicing somersaults, backflips, and cannonballs. All that swimming certainly worked up an appetite. My favorite post-pool treat? A Creamsicle. I loved how the tart, icy orange shell contrasted with the sweet, velvety filling.
Though I've long since given up water gymnastics in favor of lounging on an inflatable raft—with sunglasses on and beer in hand—I still adore the slightly unconventional combination of citrus and cream. This week, I decided to make my own adult version of the classic frozen pop.
There are many wonderful frozen ice cream, juice, and yogurt pops in Pichet Ong's uncanny cookbook, The Sweet Spot: Asian Inspired Desserts, including one for lemon cream pops. With only five ingredients (and all of them super cheap) it seemed like the perfect base for building my own rendition: just simmer milk, cream, sugar, and a pinch of salt, then add lemon juice and zest.
I fully intended to prepare my pops with oranges but when I got to the supermarket, they looked pretty defeated. The limes, on the other hand, looked positively delectable. I picked up two, plus two lemons for good measure. Back in my kitchen the pop mixture came together in just minutes. (An added bonus: it didn't curdle at all when I added the juice to the cream, which concerned me.)
The results? A sophisticated update of a childhood classic: a little more sour and a little less sugary. Plus, the tiny yellow and green flecks of zest added a lovely hint of color.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 limes
- 2 lemons
Combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to barely a simmer over medium heat. As soon as bubbles form around the edges of the saucepan, remove it from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Zest and juice the limes and lemons directly into the cream mixture. Stir to combine.
Divide the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until hard.