Why It Works
- Cooking fresh blueberries brings out their jammy sweetness and gives the popsicles an incredible concentrated flavor.
- Using full-fat Greek yogurt provides a luscious, creamy texture.
- The addition of lemon juice brightens the deep, sweet blueberry flavor.
At the peak of summer when blueberries are both abundant and at their best, we like to turn them into fluffy muffins, bake them into a classic blueberry pie, or eat them out of hand as a snack. With all those baking and snacking options, it's easy to forget how good blueberries can be in frozen preparations. Take, for example, these creamy blueberry yogurt popsicles. Blended with full-fat Greek yogurt, the blueberries shine through with their sweet-tart, lightly floral flavor.
The key to blueberry popsicle success is to lightly cook the blueberries before blending them with the yogurt. Once frozen, raw blueberries lack the deep, sweet, unmistakable blueberry flavor that cooking draws out. To boost the blueberries' mild sweetness, we supplement with some extra sugar, along with a blast of fresh lemon juice to restore some of that raw-berry brightness.
After cooking, the blueberry mixture is cooled, blended, and strained to form a flavorful purée that is then combined with Greek yogurt, heavy cream (to counteract the yogurt’s tendency towards chalkiness when frozen), and additional sugar, lemon juice, and salt. The result is flavor-packed blueberry yogurt pops with an incredibly lush texture.
- For the Blueberry Purée:
- 7 ounces (1 1/3 cups; 200g) fresh blueberries, washed and picked over for stems, or frozen blueberries (see note)
- 3 ounces water (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons; 85g)
- 1 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (3 tablespoons; 40g)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice from one lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume
- For the Yogurt Base:
- 5 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup; 155g) full-fat Greek yogurt, 5% milk fat (see note)
- 2 ounces granulated sugar (1/4 cup; 55g)
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup; 55g) heavy cream (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice from one lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume
For the Blueberry Purée: In a 2-quart stainless steel saucepan, stir together blueberries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally with a heat-resistant spatula, until the blueberries soften but the mixture still has a relatively thin consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender and process until very smooth, about 15 seconds. Strain the blueberry purée through a fine-mesh strainer set over a small bowl to remove seeds (you should have 1 cup of strained purée).
For the Yogurt Base: In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, cream, lemon juice, and salt until well combined.
To Make the Popsicles: Whisk blueberry purée into yogurt base until thoroughly combined. Divide popsicle base evenly between six 3-fluid-ounce popsicle molds and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours (to make filling the molds easier, you can transfer the popsicle mixture to a measuring cup or other vessel with a spout first). To unmold, follow your popsicle mold's instructions.
This recipe is formulated to make six 3-ounce popsicles, but you can scale it up or down as needed to accommodate popsicle molds of different sizes and numbers.
Our favorite popsicle mold is this model from Norpro but if they are out of stock, these Zoku molds are also good.
If using frozen fruit, place the frozen blueberries in a medium bowl and let thaw at room temperature until slightly softened, about 20 minutes. Discard any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl before proceeding with the recipe (this will increase the total time of the recipe).
Not all Greek yogurts are created equal, which can make a big difference in a recipe where it’s the main ingredient. Look for brands that contain nothing but milk and active cultures, such as Fage and Chobani, or try skyr instead. Steer clear of any yogurt or skyr artificially thickened with gums or pectin, as its high moisture content can alter the frozen texture.
We highly recommend sticking with full-fat Greek yogurt; substituting with low-fat or skim yogurts will produce icy popsicles with a harsher, more tart flavor. The same goes for heavy cream; substituting with milk of lower fat percentages will produce icy popsicles with a watered-down flavor.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The blueberry purée can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
After unmolding, each popsicle can be tightly wrapped in plastic and kept frozen for up to 4 weeks.