tomorrow is lake day, which means that frozen confections are in order. the host has requested "refreshing", and to me that's the signal for popsicles. although we're not big iced tea drinkers, there's no denying it's thirst quenching charm. especially in the summer. and tea is super versatile for popsicles- these two below couldn't be more different in flavor or approach.
blue eyes tea. they sell this stuff in bulk at my grocery store, and the smell is infectious. like all bulk tea, you can buy empty tea bags, or use a tea ball, or just sprinkle it into the water and strain it out when it's done. it's a blend of fruits and florals that brews up bright red. i can't stand it hot, but iced with a touch of honey is as close to kool-aid as you can get. and it makes popsicles that are out of this world.
fresh mint tea. it tastes so completely different from dried mint tea. with a hit of lemon, it's unstoppable. you can sweeten with honey, but sometimes that overpowers the minty flavor. this recipe uses evaporated cane juice simple syrup, and you really don't need much- the flavor is very subtle. tomorrow we will experiment with these and some bourbon. cocktail popsicles. UPDATE: they are awesome dunked in bourbon. not bad in sake either!
blue eyes popsicles:
- 3 cups filtered water
- 6 Tablespoons blue eyes tea
- 4-5 Tablespoons honey
- heat water in a non reactive saucepan, until just boiling. turn off the heat and add the tea. cover the pan and let steep for 5 minutes.
- add 4Tbl of honey to a deep bowl (spouted is great). when the tea is ready, strain it into the honey. whisk them together until the honey is completely dissolved. take a taste. it should be just slightly too sweet- as the popsicles freeze, they loose sweetness. let it cool completely, pour into molds and freeze for about 5 hours.
lemon mint tea popsicles:
- 3 cups of filtered water
- 6-7 cups of loosely packed mint leaves
- 1/2 cup evaporated can juice
- 1/2 cup water
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- heat 3cups of water in a non reactive saucepan, until just boiling. turn off heat and add 5-6 cups of mint. cover the pan and let steep for 10 minutes. strain out the mint, squeezing every drop from the leaves, and let cool completely. discard the leaves.
- combine cane juice and 1/2cup water in the same sauce pan. on medium high heat, whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. when it just starts to boil, turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
- zest up the lemons, then cut them in half. juice into the mint tea (strain the seeds- they're gross). add a bit more simple syrup than lemon juice. take a taste. it should be just slightly too sweet- as the popsicles freeze, they loose sweetness. adjust the sweetness to your taste. pour the tea into the molds and add a pinch of zest to each (it's hard to keep it evenly distributed- but try). chop up the mint leaves from the sprig not used in the brewing. add them to each cavity.
- now, at this point, my mint and lemon wouldn't stop lingering at the top of the mold. to get it swirled, add the top (but not the sticks) and put the it in the freezer for 1/2hr- 1 hr. pull it out and mix up each popsicle. put the lid back on and add the sticks. freeze until they're completely solid, about 5 hours.
makes 10 popsicles, depending on the size of the mold. check your mold's capacity and adjust the amount of liquid to fit what you have.