On a random weekday before the July 4th holiday, a friend and I decided to take a little road trip. She was in the midst of selling her condo and I had just wrapped up a series of stressful meetings. Our nerves were frayed and we needed a change of scenery so we decided to go to a few Michigan beach towns and buy some blueberries. A short drive, less than two hours, and we were enjoying a much-needed change of scenery. The day was absolutely gorgeous; one of those bright sunny, breezy days that plants a smile firmly on your face. We had lunch, went whiskey and beer tasting, roamed a local farmers market, wandered in an out of antique shops and art galleries and hit a favorite produce stand.
The only kink in our beautiful day was we were about a week too early for blueberries. The market had them, in pint baskets and large 10lb boxes but they were still a bit tart; too tart for my liking. Sadly, we took a pass. Instead we bought strawberries, the last of local rhubarb, cherries, tall sunflowers and what turned out to be the best peaches I’ve ever had. They were jaw dropping amazing. I think they were from Georgia as it’s a bit early yet for the Michigan varieties and I wish I had picked up a case. The next day she and I jokingly discussed driving back for more. If I hadn’t had to work that evening, we might have.
Despite my beautiful purchases, I still needed blueberries. Digging around in my deep freezer, I came up with a small bag I smartly froze last fall. They’d do. Frozen would work just fine for what I was planning. I made a quick compote with those berries, sugar, lemon juice and zest and let that chill. Next up was a creamy mixture of sour cream, sugar and a bit of lemon juice. I layered both in my popsicle molds, gave them a little swirl with a chopstick and shoved the tray into the freezer for a day or two.
Then, in a move of absolute brilliance, I decided to photograph these beauties on the hottest day of the year, in my un-air-conditioned apartment, while I was baking bread. Hooray. That was fun. Due to a low water content, these popsicles have a wonderful texture; creamy, almost chewy, but that also creates a slight issue – they melt quickly. Move fast lest you end up wearing the whole thing. The flavor is great too – soft but bright, punctuated with a bit of tart, lemony blueberry here and there. They are a wonderful summer treat to work into your summer days and the threat of a fast melt is well worth the risk.
STRESS THERAPY BAKING FACTOR: WHEEEEEW. This is exactly the kind of low effort recipe you need during these scorching days. A little stir here, a little stir there, mix some things together and shove it in the freezer. When you think you can’t possible eat anything, they are the best possible thing to have on hand.
Seven years ago: At the Market, Tart Tips & Tart Dough
Six years ago: Betty’s Pies exploring Minnesota
Five years ago: Life in Southwest France
Four years ago: Bastille Day Bomb Pops
Three years ago: Rhubarb Beer Jam
Two years ago: Guinness Crème Anglaise
Last year: Slow Roasted Spiced Pineapple
BLUEBERRIES & CREAM POPSICLES
Makes about 6 popsicles but yield will vary dependent upon the size of your molds.
For the blueberries:
2 cups blueberries (if frozen, do not defrost)
½ cup sugar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup water
for the creamy base:
8 ounces sour cream, cold (1 cup)
½ cup half-and-half, cold
¾ cups sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- For the blueberries: place ½ the blueberries, sugar, juice and zest of the lemons and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the berries start to pop and collapse, about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining blueberries and simmer until they just soften, about 3-4 minutes.
- Allow to cool then cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- For the creamy base: In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream and half-and-half to combine.
- Whisk in the sugar then the lemon juice.
- Use immediately as the lemon juice will cause the mixture to thicken over time.
- Build the popsicles: layer the two mixtures in your popsicle molds, starting with the creamy base. Just a spoonful or two of each per layer should be enough.
- Insert a wooden skewer or chopstick into each mold to gently swirl the two mixtures.
- Freeze until solid.
- To unmold, run the outside of the molds under hot water to loosen. Remove the popsicles, wrap in plastic wrap and store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.