As teenagers, my girlfriends and I always identified certain songs as our “summer anthems”… songs that reminded us of staying up all night gossiping about boys or, as we got older, driving around with the windows down blasting our new favorite tunes. Teenage girls have summer anthems that are equal parts carefree bliss and angst over boys. Little kids have one summer anthem… whatever melody the ice cream truck in their neighborhood has jingling and jangling from their speakers. We’ve talked about ice cream trucks before… about old-fashioned ice cream sandwiches and fudge pops. About the wonder and merriment of being 8 years old and not having a care in the world during long summer days and nights. I mentioned in those previous posts about some of my favorite treats from ice cream truck and my quest to recreate many of them. With the upcoming 4th of July holiday next week, I thought it would be the perfect time to give those red, white and blue firecracker popsicles a go. Turns out, they’re incredibly easy and way more delicious than all of those artificial flavors and dyes!
The three layers of these pops are made of simple purees using strawberries and blueberries, with a middle layer of sweetened plain yogurt. Very little extra sugar is added, and the flavor is amped up with a little bit of lime juice, making these all-natural and a great healthy alternative to the store-bought (or ice cream truck-bought) treats. You can easily play around with the purees, increasing or reducing the amount of sugar based on your tastes or needs and even changing up the berries if you like. You could use raspberries instead of strawberries, blackberries instead of blueberries… mix and match… whatever your heart desires!
I used Tovolo Star Ice Pop Molds because they reminded me of the original firecracker popsicles, but you could use whatever molds you have on hand or catch your eye. After all, making them exactly how you want them is the beauty of creating goodies at home!
Make the Red Layer: In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar and lime juice. Puree, scraping down sides as needed. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids. Fill the ice-pop molds 1/3 of the way (you may have some strawberry puree leftover). Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Make the White Layer: Whisk together the yogurt, cream, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl. Remove the molds from the freezer and top with the yogurt mixture, filling each another 1/3 of the way. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Make the Blue Layer: In a clean blender, puree the blueberries, sugar and lime juice. Puree, scraping down sides as needed. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids. Remove molds from freezer; insert popsicle sticks through the white layer. Top with the blueberry puree (again, you may have some leftover puree), leaving ¼-inch of free space at the top of the molds. Freeze until solid, 3 hours or more (or up to 1 week). Just before serving, briefly run molds under hot water to release the pops.