Memories and experiences – especially from unexpected places – are my favorite ingredients in any recipe. I don’t know exactly what to call the state of being that was sitting on the porch, eating a strawberry popsicle as a kid. But it’s this experience that I’ve been working on wiggling into the kitchen this week.
Not surprisingly, my trip to New York last month was full of inspiring things to eat and see. On my first morning in the city, I rose early and pedaled over to meet my friend Christian Pappanicholas of The Cannibal NYC. We spun around Central Park, weaved through traffic for coffee, and eventually made our way to the Green Market to pick up ingredients for a weekend of Rapha Rides festivities.
For some surely good reason, it’s rather difficult to get breakfast – even a bagel or coffee – before 7am in New York City. So, I pedaled from my hotel in SoHo to Central Park on a banana. In fact, it was the caloric fumes of banana I was running on as we pulled up to the market, sun high in the sky. And, the first thing I found on that unseasonably warm morning happened to also be the most reasonable breakfast appetizer on a steamy day in New York City: a tri-state strawberry popsicle. Whole chunks of strawberries and tiny little strawberry seeds poked their way out of the popsicle as you bit off sweet chunks from the stick. Substantial, tart, almost salty, an absolutely explosion of strawberry and summer; it was the sort of popsicle dreams are made of…because being in a sophisticated city as an adult (wearing spandex in public, mind you) and starting your workday with a popsicle for breakfast is – actually – some kind of dream come true. (Doubly because it meant I had an appetite for lunch later.)
A few days after returning, the crew from Skratch Labs came over to shoot some recipe videos for (you guessed it) popsicles, and all of my perfect berry breakfast popsicle memories came rushing back. The popsicles we filmed that day were delicious; refreshing, rehydrating, and the kind of light craving you’d have after a big ride, run or hike on a hot summer day. But over the next week, all sorts of popsicle visions danced in my head. The popsicle that eats (and treats) more like a bowl of perfect fruits than a drippy mess is harder to come by, these days, but that’s exactly what popsicles were like when you were a little kid, right? Me too. If the pleasure of eating a fresh-fruit popsicle for breakfast could be so simple, so too must the recipe for one be.
And so, the Fresh Strawberry Popsicles of My Dreams were born. For that matter, there’s isn’t anything terribly special about them, (until you eat them for breakfast, or as a late-night, mid-summer snack.) But it is the recipe I’ve been using to make sweet snacks, post-ride treats and quick desserts with. The recipe is just what I’d hoped it would be, just what you want it to be: whole blended fruit…and not much else. A little bit of lime juice, a bit of sugar and a bit of salt. (This may not seem like an important component, but it IS, especially if you’re riding/running/playing outside!) You could always other shiny things to make these a bit more creative or impressive; a little fresh cucumber for a super-refreshing pop, rosewater for a more sultry. Other tweaks: use raspberries or blueberries instead of strawberries, switch out the citrus juice, use smoked salts….I could go on. Point being, use this as a jumping off point for The Popsicle Of Your Dreams.
Two more things:
Maybe you’re VERY adult, and want to make a boozy granita instead of popsicles? Add just 3/4 cup dry rosé and pour the strawberry mixture into an 8×8 pan, scraping after 2 hours into a very sophisticated sno-cone.
I’m in love with these popsicle molds. You can thaw and enjoy a single popsicle (instead of thawing the whole batch) in just a few moments. PLUS, they’re pretty, right?!
Enjoy this one! – L
- 1 lb strawberries, hulled
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- pinch of salt
- In a food processor (or blender), combine strawberries, sugar, lime juice and salt. Process until smooth (though some chunks of strawberry would be ok by me!)
- Pour strawberry puree into popsicle molds, fit with wooden sticks and place in the coldest part of your freezer.
- Freeze for at least 3 hours until popsicle is solid. To remove popsicles from mold, submerge mold into room temperature or slightly warm water for a couple of minutes. Or just be patient and let the ambient temperature warm the mold. Enjoy!