strawberry, lime and black pepper popsicles
Prior to falling in love with this cocktail, I’d only paired strawberry with lemon, and I was missing out because lime is the perfect contrast to strawberry’s spun sugar/cotton candy/pink frosting earnestness. It’s second only to the black pepper, which you can add at whatever level you’re comfortable with (1/4 teaspoon was only vaguely noticeable, and did not even go mentioned by the resident spice-sensitive preschooler), needn’t add straightforward spiciness so much as a background pick-me-up. You’ll be amazed by how well strawberries and black pepper go together; they’re totally the yin to each other’s yang, even when you’re not doing The After-Bedtime Dip in white tequila.
Texture-wise, we love that these popsicles, since they’re made from tender fresh strawberries, don’t get rock hard (the way ones made from juice will) but stay tender and totally nibble-able.
4 slightly heaped cups (about 20 ounces) fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
2/3 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (we used the latter but use less if you’re sensitive to sugar)
1/2 cup water
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (use less for a barely detectable bite, more if you’d like it more present)
Pinch of sea salt
Combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl; let them sit for 15 minutes if they’re really fresh, longer if they’re firm or off-season berries. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. You can hasten this along by transferring them back to their macerating bowl and setting that in a bowl of ice water.
Once cooled, transfer to a blender or food processor, add the lime juice, pepper and salt and blend until mostly smooth (I find some leftover bits lovely in here). Divide between popsicle molds.
[You'll have about 3 1/4 cups of the mixture, which divides evenly among 10 1/3-cup molds, with 1/4-inch space on top to make room for expansion in freezing.]
Freeze for about 5 hours, or until completely frozen. Dip in lukewarm water for 10 seconds to unmold each popsicle.
If After-Bedtime Dipping: Put a shot of white tequila in a glass wide enough to dip popsicle. Yes, you can double-dip.
strawberry, lime and black pepper popsicles was originally published on smittenkitchen.com
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