By Sara Moulton, Associated Press
These days there’s never a time when we can’t find blueberries at the supermarket. But summertime is the season for the homegrown varieties. They’re abundant right now and can be used in all kinds of recipes. One of my favorites is blueberries and vanilla ice cream — it’s sweet and tart and creamy all at once — so I thought I’d team blueberries and heavy cream in frozen pop form for Blueberries and Cream Ice Pops.
Blueberries can vary wildly in flavor and texture, even when they’re in season and locally grown. They can be very sweet or tart, large and soft, or small and crunchy. Occasionally, they can also be sort of bland. But even a bland berry can be pointed up with a few ingredients.
All blueberries, bland or flavorful, benefit from sugar and lemon, which balance out the berries’ natural sweetness and acidity. There are fixed amounts of each in this recipe, but you should taste the berries and adjust accordingly. If they’re extra-sweet, add more lemon and less sugar. If they’re extra-tart, increase the sugar and decrease the acid. Then taste them again after you’ve pureed the berries and adjust accordingly.
Fruit pop recipes usually call for sugar syrup rather than granulated sugar because the latter doesn’t dissolve well in a cold liquid. To avoid having to make the sugar syrup — an extra step — I’ve called for superfine sugar, which dissolves easily because it’s so fine. If you don’t have superfine at hand, measure out 1/4 cup minus 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and blend it in the blender until fine. Set aside 1/2 teaspoon for the cream, then add the blueberries and lemon juice and rock on with the recipe.
BLUEBERRIES AND CREAM ICE POPS
Start to finish: 8 hours 20 minutes (20 active)
1 pint blueberries (about 2 cups), picked over and rinsed
1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar or to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a blender combine the blueberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice; blend until the mixture is very finely pureed and transfer the puree to a bowl.
In a medium bowl with electric beaters, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar and the vanilla and beat again just enough to incorporate the sugar and vanilla.
Gently pour the whipped cream on top of the blueberry puree and with just a few stokes, fold the cream into the puree to form streaks. You don’t want the cream to combine with the puree, you want the two to remain as separate as possible. Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds leaving a 1/2-inch gap at the top and freeze them solid before serving (about 8 hours).
Servings: Makes 4 to 6 pops, depending on the size of your ice pop molds.
Nutrition information per serving for 4 pops: 132 calories; 68 calories from fat; 8 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 27 mg cholesterol; 8 mg sodium; 16 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 1 g protein.