There is an old Jimmy Stewart movie called The Glenn Miller Story that I've loved since I was in high school. It was made in the 50s and wasn't critically acclaimed, but for some reason I fell in love with it. It's the story of American big band musician, bandleader, and composer Glenn Miller who was hugely popular around the WWII years...about his rocky ride to finding his "sound," his sweet relationship with his wife, and his mysterious death. Never heard of him? I guarantee you've heard his stuff...just google "In the Mood" or "Chattanooga Choo Choo."
Anyway, there is this thing in the movie about his wife Helen - about how the hair on the back of her neck would stand up straight and she'd get goosebumps whenever she heard a song by her husband and immediately knew it was going to be a huge hit. I have no idea if that really happened to the actual Helen Miller, but in any case, it's really freaking cute and sweet.
Well, I sorta have the same weird thing going on between me and my husband. Whenever I make something particularly good (we're not talking Glenn Miller hit good, but you get the point), he does this really funny laughing-while-exhaling-through-his-nose thing. It's hard to explain. Just thinking about it makes me laugh though. Maybe I should mention that he's a mouth breather...so this is like one of the only times he actually uses his nose to breathe, ha ha. He's going to be thrilled when he reads this. :)
So anyway, I've been working hard on these pops. Like, six trials and errors kind of hard. I really wanted to get it right. I wanted something summery, bright flavored, and creamy, and I wanted that in every bite, not just the top or middle or bottom layer. I also really wanted these to be ridiculously easy to make....no cooking simple syrup or oven roasting fruit or tempering eggs. One prep bowl kinda easy. I knew all those nights of washing half-frozen pops down the drain paid off when I my gave my lover boy mouth breather a pop to try and heard that sweet nose-laughing sound that is like music to my ears. Yessssss.
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, these pops are basically all of your childhood summers in frozen form. They taste like a cross between those strawberry shortcake popsicles and a Flintstone Push-Up...well, a more grown-up, less artificial version. The acid from the orange really counterbalances the sweetness of the strawberries, and the mascarpone and vanilla round out the flavors and keep it somewhat creamy. I'm sort of in love with these, and I do hope you'll give em a whirl. I promise they are super duper simple, but you will need a few gadgets on hand, primarily a blender or processor. Also a pop mold and popsicle sticks....I used the Norpro ice pop maker (link below in recipe).
If popsicles are really your jam, head on over to Wit and Vinegar to check out sooooo many more awesome recipes for Billy's annual Popsicle Week. 100+ food bloggers are all sharing their super rad pop recipes with us. Some are totally hipster, some are healthy, some are basic. I promise you will find at least one you like.
Thanks for reading, and cheers to the beginning of summer.
Strawberry Orange Mascarpone Popsicles
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, these pops are basically all of your childhood summers in frozen form. Bright, fruity, creamy, dreamy. They remind me of a cross between those old school strawberry shortcake pops and a Flintstone Push-Up. Well, a more grown-up, less artificial version.
Yields: 10 pops (1/3 cup each)
1 lb. (16 oz.) fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from actual oranges - about 2 of them)
2 tsp. orange zest, grated
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- In a food processor or blender, blend together the strawberries, orange juice, zest, and sugar until well blended. (The acid in the fruit will help dissolve the sugar.)
- Add the vanilla and mascarpone cheese and blend until there are no lumps of mascarpone left.
- Pour into the popsicle molds and push the popsicle sticks into the middle of each mold, leaving about 1-2 inches exposed at the top (the mixture is thick enough you don't need to use the top lid to keep the sticks in place - this also helps because you can fill them all the way up and not worry about the pop mixture sticking and freezing to the lid).
- Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight. To unmold, run the pop molds under hot water for a few seconds or until they release.
- You can unmold the pops and lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and freeze a few hours more, then store them in a plastic freezer bag.