Last week, we had a bit of a preview of summer: ~90 degree Fahrenheit weather, cloudless, sunny skies, and mild nights when you don't need a long-sleeve shirt to go outside. It was even warm enough to have a midnight picnic out on the roof of our garage, which was pretty awesome because we snaked an extension cord from the house to the roof, moved an Ikea coffee table and a floor lamp out there, blasted Joni Mitchell from an open window, and sat, laughing and joking, on a blanket around a big spread of triple cream goat cheese and grapes and Piela Deen underneath the stars.
While warm summer-preview nights are a special treat, I often curse the hotter days during the daytime when I have to bike to and from school because who wants to arrive at class or at their meetings hot, sweaty, and coated with a layer of sticky grime? Elghk. Plus, I grew up in a different micro-climate around the Bay Area, where the weather really only rises above 80 degrees F for a few days out of the year. I like my 50-75 F range perfectly well, thankyouverymuch. So, on these days, the thing I look forward to the most is coming home from school, stowing the bike away, reaching into the freezer, and sucking down an ice cold packed-with-fruity-awesomeness popsicle. I love how it makes my core temperature say 'ahhhhhhhhhh' in great relief.
Just so I'm armed and ready for any more hot days the current micro-climate that I live in might throw at me, I've packed our freezer with these little beauts: kiwi and orange creamsicles--little ice pops with tangy kiwi puree, unadulterated fresh-squeezed orange juice, and sweet, creamy custard, layered thinly so that you can get every flavor together in one long lick. I also did the layers sort of haphazardly, pouring whichever one I felt like into random molds just so when unmolded, each one is a special little surprise. I can't help but squeal a bit every time I pop one out of a mold just to see the different patterns of layers. It's the little things like this that keep me happy. :-)
Anyways, you really shouldn't be too jealous of our weather here. This always seems to happen around the end of April and the beginning of May in parts of the Bay Area, but then we're cursed with grey skies throughout the month of June. Alas, you can't always have it all when it comes to the weather. But, you can always have popsicles ready and standing by.
[Don't forget to go and vote for desserts for breakfast for Best Baking/Desserts Blog in Saveur's Best Food Blog Awards! Voting closes in just three days! So stop dallying about and go vote!]
Read on for recipe....
Kiwi Orange Creamsicles
makes ~24 popsicles, very much depending on the size of the molds
for cream layer:
1 cup heavy cream, divided into two 1/2 cups
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (50 gr) sugar
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1 tspn vanilla extract
1. Place 1/2 cup of cream in a small bowl with a fine mesh strainer on top. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, sugar, and salt. Bring to just a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until light.
4. Once the milk is simmering, pour a small but steady stream of the liquid into the egg yolks while stirring constantly to temper. Do this slowly while whisking quickly. Once the milk and egg yolks are combined, return to the saucepan and to the stove.
5. Heat the egg yolk and milk mixture while stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that nothing burns or sticks. Slowly cook the mixture until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat immediately once it thickens.
6. Pour the hot custard through the strainer into the prepared cream and stir to cool. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
7. Chill the mixture thoroughly.
for kiwi layer:
1 lb. ripe kiwifruit, peeled
1/4 cup (50 gr) sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tspn Grand Marnier
1. Combine the peeled kiwi, sugar, water, and Grand Marnier in a food processor bowl and puree until smooth.
2. Chill thoroughly.
for orange layer:
2 cups orange juice, chilled
1. Pour each layer into the molds one at a time, freezing for roughly 30-45 minutes between each layer, depending on how thin you make them.