Friday, June 22, 2018

Watermelon Float Popsicles | #popsicleweek

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Watermelon Float Popsicles #popsicleweekJune is basically the best month of the year:
  1. My birthday
  2. Summer solstice
  3. Popsicle week
  4. See number one
While my birthday (which I now share with my friends’ new little guy, Henry!) and the start of summer are for sure reason enough to crown this month a winner, Billy of Wit & Vinegar guilds the lily year after year by adding #popsicleweek into the June lineup. 

For one glorious week a year, food bloggers take to the internet to share popsicle recipes, with Billy at the helm, keeping us motivated and hydrated with gifs of Mariah and Xtina. The great news: more popsicle recipes than one person could ever realistically make in a summer/ lifetime. The less-than-great news: popsicle week has amassed such a collection of pops over the years, that it’s difficult adding something original to the mix. TBH I struggle coming up with a new popsicle recipe every year, it’s sort of all been done to death. But then each year, through hours of intense soul searching and meditation*, I dig deep and end up with a popsicle that feels somewhat unique and exciting and makes me proud to contribute to the age-old, world famous, popsicle week tradition.
Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Watermelon Float Popsicles #popsicleweek
My past contributions include: a creamy coconut lemon bar popsicle; a Monkey LaLa pop, based on the frozen coconut-Kahlua-chocolate drinks we had in Honduras; a beery pineapple vanilla IPA ode to the PNW popsicle; and the ever-sassy Passionate Palmer Pop, a passionfruit lemon iced tea (Arnold Palmer) situation.

This year, I was thiiiis close to submitting for your approval: an Orange Julius popsicle, inspired by the twice-yearly pilgrimage we made to the big city (PDX, lol) mall** when I was growing up. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized an Orange Julius pop is essentially an orange creamsicle pop, which like, yum but yawn, it’s been SO done. Then I thought about making some sort of rosé or boozy popsicle, but there are a bazillion of those and I just couldn’t think of anything special. I was about to throw in the towel and share the popsicle “recipe” that fueled my childhood: frozen orange (or grape) juice concentrate, made into juice, refrozen in popsicle molds. A true classic, a family heirloom.

I finally came up with something nearly as simple as that frozen juice family favorite: Watermelon float popsicles! It’s the simplest combo of fresh watermelon juice and vanilla ice cream. It’s got that thirst-quenching summer refreshment vibe from the watermelon juice, and then a little bit of creamy childhood fun from the vanilla ice cream.
Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Watermelon Float Popsicles #popsicleweek For a good time, I highly recommend using the Alton Brown method to juice yer melon (just stick an immersion blender right in that sucker!), but if you don’t happen to have an immersion blender, you can throw chunks of watermelon, sans-rind, into a regular blender or juicer until liquid.

*intense soul searching and meditation = approximately 5 minutes of perusing the internet, 20 minutes of discussion with my sister, and 5 minutes of looking in my fridge. 

**My mom recently told me that one time we saw America’s Sweetheart herself, Tonya Harding, practicing for the Olympics at the Lloyd Center Mall ice rink. 

Watermelon float popsicles 
My mold makes 10 pops, adjust as necessary

1.5-2 cups fresh watermelon juice
Vanilla ice cream

Option 1: Fill popsicle molds about half full with watermelon juice. Add a couple small bits and bobs of ice cream, pushing into the mold with a spoon or chopstick (but don’t’ mix/stir it in), and then fill the rest of the way with more juice. Insert sticks and freeze until solid.

Option 2 (pictured): while ice cream is still pretty solid, cut little rectangular strips (mini popsicles) out of it and put insert the stick into the ice cream/ mold the ice cream around the stick. Then put that ice cream stick in the popsicle mold, and fill mold with watermelon juice.

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