If you follow trendy foods, you probably realize by now that popsicles are taking the US by storm. There are popsicle stores in Brooklyn and everything cool starts in Brooklyn these days. These popsicles are not the sugary, artificial products of our youth but more sophisticated popsicles. They have natural ingredients without preservatives or twenty kinds of color and artificial flavorings.
My first (there will be many) take on this trend was blueberries and ricotta. Of course my husband thought I was crazy putting ricotta (yes, cheese) in popsicles. Ricotta, remember, is what we use to fill cannolis. All we need is a little sugar to make it sweet and a tiny bit of cream to well, make it creamier. Just what we want alongside our blueberries. I may be a crazy person sometimes, but I’m a firm believer in ricotta in popsicles.
There is an art to the modern popsicle. To achieve it we must use restraint. Dang right? The real key is to not overmix so as to not end up with a homogenous, one colored popsicle. What’s the fun in that? The beauty in these is a product of restraint because when you mix the ricotta mixture with the blueberry mixture we all want to mix it because we’re mixing. Be very gentle. Be very minimalist. The art of popsicles is tricky.
Go buy popsicle molds if you don’t have them already! It will make for a much more tasty summer to be able to whip up some popsicles for a cool, relatively healthy dessert on a hot summer night. Just five minutes and a little freeze time and you’re good to go!
- 1½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta***
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4 Tablespoons heavy cream, divided
- ***If you have separation or watery milk on the top of your ricotta be sure to drain it before use
- Place berries in blender and process to puree for several seconds to a minute depending on blender. Blueberry skins will not fully puree and will be very small pieces which is fine. Combine blueberries with ¼ cup sugar.
- In a large bowl, mix the ricotta with the remaining ¼ cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons cream, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon zest.
- Gently fold in the blueberries and their juices; avoid over mixing and try to leave some streaks by not fully blending.
- Before pouring the blueberry mix into your molds use the remaining 2 Tablespoons cream, and divide into empty wells with less than a teaspoon into each. Spoon the blueberry ricotta mixture into ice pop molds avoiding mixing too much. The cream at the bottom should flow prettily around blueberry ricotta mixture. Insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.
- To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.