Ice Pops, Two Ways: Cantaloupe Basil and Grapefruit Lychee

Summer, Sweet Recipes • 28 Aug 2012

This Northeastern summer has been punctuated by oppressive heat, tingling humidity and mouth-eviscerating thirst. I’ve been consuming vast amounts of water to counteract the effects of the climate, each precious drop a lifeline to my blood and bones. But sometimes I want more to quench my thirst, a frozen treat pulsating with tantalizing flavors.

An ice pop, just plucked from a glaciate freezer, is enough to chill me from the inside out, reestablishing my body’s stasis while entertaining my tongue in a way plain water is biologically incapable.

Sweet, fragrant cantaloupe ice pops, flavored with peppery basil and grapefruit lychee pops have been my summer staples.

Juicy, ripe cantaloupe becomes sweet icy silk when frozen. Undertones of spicy basil render the perfumed cantaloupe musky, somewhat earthy and completely refreshing.

I spiked my grapefruit lychee pops with a bit of boozy Gewurztraminer, a wine with undertones of tart grapefruit peels and a soft bouquet of lychee. The wine is barely detectible in the glacial treat and serves mostly to compliment the dramatically intense fruit flavors.

Cool, crisp air is around the bend, chilly breezes replacing the still, thick summer air. I am enjoying summer’s last produce, cold dishes and frozen treats before we flow through the season.

Grapefruit Lychee Ice Pops

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice from about 5 grapefruits
1 cup whole canned lychees, plus syrup from can
2/3 cup Gewurztraminer

1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool syrup to room temperature.

2. Pour grapefruit juice through a very fine mesh strainer or a chinoise to remove pulp. Add cooled simple syrup and Gewurztraminer to juice and set aside.

3. Puree lychees in a blender until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer into a one-cup measuring cup. You should have about 1/2 cup pureed lychees. Add enough syrup to pureed lychees to equal one cup total. Add the lychees to the grapefruit juice mixture.

4. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze for about an hour until the pops just begin to set. Add sticks and return to the freezer for at least 8 hours.

5. To remove, quickly run the molds under hot water, and gently remove the pops.

Yield:  Makes 10-12 ice pops.

Cantaloupe Basil Ice Pops

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup tightly packed basil leaves
4 cups roughly chopped ripe cantaloupe
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Combine sugar, water and basil leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.

2. Cool syrup to room temperature. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and discard basil leaves.

3. Puree cantaloupe until smooth. Pour half the puree through a fine mesh strainer or chinoise and reincorporate into the remaining puree. Add lime juice and basil simple syrup.

4. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze for about an hour until the pops just begin to set.  Add sticks and return to the freezer for at least 8 hours.

5. To remove, quickly run the molds under hot water, and gently remove the pops.

Yield: Makes about 8-9 ice pops.

3 Responses

  1. kerry

    This looks so yummy

  2. shantel

    These look amazing. Where did you get the ice pop holders? They look perfect. I've been using paper cups for our peach ice pops.

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