Why It Works
- Cooking fresh raspberries tames the fruit’s tartness and draws out their sweetness.
- Using full-fat Greek yogurt provides a luscious, creamy texture without adding too much water.
- The addition of orange juice complements raspberry’s citrusy, slightly bitter flavor.
In the world of dessert, raspberries are often treated as an afterthought, relegated to the role of a garnish or drizzle of sauce. But the mark of a great raspberry-yogurt popsicle is one where the fruit shines. Here, we coax out raspberry's bright red berry flavor by underscoring its floral notes and jammy sweetness. Combined with full-fat Greek yogurt, the raspberry base transforms into a creamy, and perfectly sweet-tart dessert.
Like our blueberry pops, the key to success is to gently simmer the raspberries with water, sugar, citrus juice, and salt. Cooking breaks down the raspberries, taming their tartness while concentrating their fruity depth. The addition of orange juice, a trick we borrowed from Max Falkowitz, pairs well with raspberry’s inherent citrus notes. Blending the mixture with Greek yogurt and heavy cream balances out the acidity, slight bitterness, and sharp flavor of the purée.
Although we chose to blend the raspberries and yogurt for a more cohesive flavor, you can also make swirled popsicles with this recipe. Begin by preparing the raspberry purée and yogurt base according to steps one and two. In step three, instead of combining the purée and yogurt base, keep them separate. Dollop a tablespoon of each into the popsicle molds, alternating between the purée and the yogurt base, until the molds are full. Using a skewer or cake tester, draw several figure eights through each filled popsicle mold to achieve a swirled look.
- For the Raspberry Purée:
- 8 ounces (1 3/4 cups; 225g) fresh or frozen raspberries (see note)
- 3 ounces water (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons; 85g)
- 3 ounces granulated sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons; 85g)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh orange juice from one orange
- 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) strained full-fat Greek yogurt, 5% milkfat (see note)
- 2 ounces granulated sugar (1/4 cup; 55g)
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup; 55g) heavy cream (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange juice from one orange
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume
For the Raspberry Purée: In a 2-quart stainless steel saucepan, stir together raspberries, water, sugar, orange 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 raspberries have broken down and the mixture has slightly thickened in 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 raspberry 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, orange juice, and salt until well combined.
To make the Popsicles: Whisk raspberry 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 raspberries 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 raspberry purée can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
After unmolding, each popsicle can be tightly wrapped in plastic and kept frozen for up to 4 weeks.