Layne Eiler serves up fresh fruit juice pops with seasonal ingredients from her pop-up cart Sweet Clementine's at the Los Angeles Grand Central Market. You won't be able to resist her icey creations like Strawberry-Basil, Lemon-Buttermilk and Tangerine-Cardamom.
'popsicles' on Serious Eats
As the temperature outside soars, everyone is desperately trying to stay cool. But what about those of us in the kitchen? What's it like for us in the summer? As you can imagine, standing over six to twelve open burners, a flat top, a grill, and a fryer is a sweaty endeavor even in the cooler months. That's where refreshing frozen popsicles come in.
It's simple fact: food is more fun when it provides a pretty visual. And what could be a more fun way to enjoy the official treat of summer—ice cream—than in the form of rainbow ice cream pops?
These fruit-filled sangria popsicles are sweet yet refreshing, with just enough alcohol to take the edge off the heat.
Pairing sweet blueberries with punchy moonshine and a hit of lemon juice is a genius move, making these Blueberry Moonshine Pops one hell of a summer afternoon treat. The popsicle masterminds behind Brooklyn's People's Pops advise that these pops are best enjoyed on a hazy back porch in North Carolina with a bluegrass sound track but they also don't discount that they still taste pretty great in a steamy little apartment.
Matching up tart rhubarb with delicate, floral jasmine tea makes for a transcendent popsicle experience.
Watermelon is one of those great summer fruits that works perfectly in both sweet and savory dishes. And it's this versatility that makes these Watermelon & Parsley Pops from People's Pops such a great combination of summery flavors.
Pairing Campari, a bittersweet Italian apéritif, with sugary cantaloupe makes for popsicles with a very grown up flavor profile.
Mango, for me, is a quintessential summer flavor. Tart, sticky, and sweet, it is the fruity embodiment of the warmth and brightness of summer. Cloves, on the other hand, are darker, spicier, and deeply autumnal. The two together? Perfect for a warm summer evening in early March.
This grapefruit-tequila paleta is particularly refreshing. If you want an extra kick, blend a bit of the chiles with the grapefruit base, or infuse the simple syrup with more chiles. Just like a margarita, these paletas have a seasoning on the top; I love both options and couldn't decide between them, so I'll leave the topping up to you.
One of the best things about working in markets is the wonderful people you meet. There's a particularly cute couple that are regulars at the Hester Street Fair and they love these paletas; they would buy several at a time last year to take home so they could enjoy for the week. I just bought some wonderful bicolor corn from the farmers market to make some and wanted to dedicated this recipe to them!
Avocado in an ice pop? You bet. People always seem to wonder about this one, but let me tell you—one bite and it will win you over. The paleta is slightly sweetened and gets its creaminess from the natural avocado oils rather than any dairy. It's wonderful on its own but for another layer of indulgence, dip it in some melted bittersweet chocolate.
Boozy pops (or paletas borrachitas, as I like to call them) are some of my favorite ones to make—especially ones that have lots of chunks in them. You can't put much alcohol in them, because they won't freeze; but you can still taste the wine or liquor, and that makes a very tasty paleta.
I love stone fruit so much—especially apricots because they have a bit of tartness to them. I also love a little textural contrast in my sweets, and as I was making these I started thinking of those delicious Arab candies that are made with dried apricots and pistachios, so I thought—hey, maybe I should use that awesome combination. And it worked!
While we'll never be quite sure why the good people at Jell-O decided to discontinue their beloved frozen dessert, the Pudding Pop, those of us who grew up in the 80s will have to do with fond memories of those creamy chocolate and vanilla pops and their hilarious commercials featuring Bill Cosby. Gesine Bullock-Prado, the sweets loving force behind Sugar Baby has a soft spot for pudding pops and has been known to go through entire boxes of them when left to her own teenaged devices.
Blueberry and fresh basil, for me, are the quintessential flavors of summer. Basil doesn't get enough credit for its versatility, and pairing it with summer blueberries brings out its soft, grassy sweetness and a minty buzz.
Las Paletas makes the best gourmet paletas I've tried yet—lightyears ahead of NYC's People Pops and narrowly beating Austin's GoodPop. A riff on the angular Mexican popsicles that usually feature corn syrup or cane juice and loads of artificial coloring, these icy treats forgo all that filth in favor of pure, streamlined recipes that highlight natural fruit flavors.
Sitting in my AC-less apartment with the fan blowing hot air in my face, it's hard to think about anything except how frigging hot it is in the Northeast. Record-breakingly hot. Temper-breakingly hot. Now, this doesn't necessarily put everyone in the mood to scarf a chocolate bar, but here are four ways to get your cocoa fix while staying cool.
Skip all the shaved ice and snow cone trucks. And if you pass the hometown favorite Amy's Ice Creams (Cold Stone Creamery minus the cloying corporate culture), or any errant fro-yo, keep on moving. The best summer sweet bites in Austin lurk a little farther afield, and happen to be, for the sake of this roundup, vegan. Here are six favorites.