It’s the unofficial “summer of popsicles” here at Serious Eats, and we've got you covered with recipe after recipe for frozen treats to help beat the summer heat, along with a how-to guide for creating your own fruit-yogurt pops. And we’re not done yet; say hello to virgin piña colada popsicles! We transformed the classic frozen cocktail into mouth-watering popsicles full of sweet ripe pineapple and rich, creamy coconut, with a boozy version for the 21-plus crowd, and these non-alcoholic pops that everyone can enjoy.
As we’ve discovered with our other recipes, fresh fruit makes for better-tasting popsicles, and this holds true for pineapple as well. The tropical sweet-tart flavor of fresh pineapple can’t be beat, but both frozen and canned pineapple are acceptable substitutes for this recipe.
For the coconut in these virgin piña colada pops, we experimented with coconut milk, coconut cream, and the traditional Coco Lopez, a sweetened version of coconut cream used by many hotel resort bartenders. Similar to our frozen piña coladas, the addition of Coco Lopez made our popsicles taste like tanning oil with a greasy, squishy texture to boot. Coconut milk delivered a more natural, yet mild, coconut flavor. The winner was unsweetened coconut cream with its lush, rich texture which, when paired with pineapple, loaded the frozen pops with concentrated coconut flavor.
Why It Works
- Equal amounts of pineapple and coconut cream plus a splash of lime juice strikes the perfect balance between creamy sweetness and bright acidity.
- Unsweetened coconut cream gives the popsicle base just the right amount of thickness and body, and a more natural flavor than Coco Lopez.
- Yield:Makes six 3-ounce popsicles (see note)
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:10 minutes plus 4 hours freezing time
- 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups; 225g) cubed fresh pineapple from one pineapple, frozen pineapple, or drained canned pineapple (see note)
- 8 ounces (1 cup; 225g) unsweetened coconut cream, shaken or stirred well to incorporate fat
- 2 ounces granulated sugar (1/4 cup; 55g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice from one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume
In a blender, combine pineapple, coconut cream, sugar, lime juice, and salt, and process until very smooth, about 30 seconds.
Divide mixture evenly between six 3-fluid-ounce popsicle molds and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours. To unmold, follow your popsicle mold's instructions.