We were lucky to receive some red currants in our farmshare last week, but due to the tiny quantity, I left them in the fridge for more than a week pondering the best way to use them.
But since I've been on a bit of a run exploring ice pop flavours, I figured there was a good chance that they would end up reduced into syrup and incorporated into a popsicle of some sort. The answer occurred to me as I was grating some lemon zest for a quinoa salad... lemon and currant popsicles!
First, I reduced the currants into a sauce with some water and sugar and pureed them in the magic bullet.
Currants, like raspberries, have tons of seeds and little stems that are tough to remove. So I strained out the seeds/stems and ended up with a thick red currant coulis of sorts. This already tasted so good that I had a hard time resisting eating it as a red currant fool.
I'm glad I waited though because the ice pops turned out even better than I expected. I was a little unsure what the texture or taste would be like since I was a bit like a mad scientist in the kitchen while I was concocting them... but they were everything I wanted them to be.
Light, lemony, a little bit icy, and very refreshing with bursts of tangy, sweet red currant jelly. The adults enjoyed them and the kids loved them. They definitely give me encouragement to experiment a bit more with my popsicle mold. Don't be surprised to see a whole lot of ice pop recipes through the summer.
Lemon Pudding and Red Currant Jelly Ice Pops
Yield: 300ml (=9 Onyx pops or 6 full-size and 6 kid-sized pops)
Red Currant Jelly
150g red currants, washed
1/8 - 1/4 cup sugar, (sweeten according to your taste)
1 - 2 tablespoons water
- Add currants and sugar to a small saucepan. Add enough water to get the mixture bubbling and prevent burning. Heat gently over medium heat until mixture is bubbling and the currants have mostly broken down.
- Let cool. Strain to remove seeds and pulp.
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 cups milk (I used 2% but I think whole milk would have been heavenly)
1-1/2 cups half and half cream (what I had on hand, but I'm sure 35% cream would be richer and delish too)
1/4 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, egg yolk and a small amount of the milk until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat over medium-high heat until mixture begins to boil.
- Continue heating until mixture is boiling fairly uniformly (i.e. bubbles are appearing on the edges and in the centre).
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Pour lemon pudding into molds. Reserve leftover mixture by covering with cellophane (let the plastic wrap touch the surface of the liquid) and refrigerate until you're ready to freeze a second batch* (1-2 days).
- Add a heaping teaspoonful of red currant jelly to each ice pop, and using a chopstick/skewer swirl the jelly into the pudding.
- Freeze 5 hours or until frozen. Enjoy!
*I always unmold my ice pops and wrap them in parchment paper as soon as they are frozen. This way I can use the mold again to make more ice pops to create a freezer stockpile of hot weather treats.