Popsicle Week: Frozen Lime Pie Beach Pops

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I’m SO GLAD IT”S POPSICLE WEEK, guys!!! The last week I’ve been feeling, meh…for lack of a better description. The sweet distraction is much more than welcome, it’s needed. My brain is just a little weary and emotional–in part due to that fact that my sweet baby turns 1 in a few short weeks and I am just so not ready. I tried thinking about his birthday party–which I’ve been thinking about since before he was born–only to be overwhelmed with all the feels about it.  I made these Lime Beach Pie inspired popsicles which felt like a balm for all my weird feelings. Again, thank goodness for popsicle week. Amen.

If you’ve never had Beach Pie (sometimes called Atlantic Beach Pie), it’s a creamy-tart pie–not too far off from a key lime as far as the filling goes–but with a crazy, genius saltine cracker crust. It’s seriously amazing. I first heard about this pie via NPR and tasted a lemon curd version on my birthday at the pie bakery Lauretta Jean’s, here in Portland. The filling is tart, creamy, and sweet, while the crust hits you with a crunchy-saltiness that just makes this pie over the top addictive. I’m guessing the crust is what makes the pie a pie of the beach–a nod to sand and sea in a buttery, crackery crust. Obvs, I had to make it into a frozen treat on a stick. The ingredients in the pops are pretty similar to those found in the pie, but a little simpler–condensed milk (dreamy), lime juice and zest, and whipped cream. There are also caramelized, crunchy, little saltine bits glued on with white chocolate shell to mimic the crust of the pie. Plus a dusting of sea salt and even more lime zest, because we’re into gilding lilies around here. These popsicles are seriously so good. I would even venture to say that they’d be the best I’ve made, yet.

This is my 3rd (THIRD) year participating in Billy’s POPSICLE WEEK. It’s been amazing and grown larger each year. I mean, there are fewer things better than gathering with a bunch of other popsicle-crazed bloggers to hold hands and drum-circle-kumbaya about frozen treats together on the internet. Check out the page for all of the other participants this year and to peep the last few years, as well. Cool-dude-sunglasses-emoji.

PS: My previous contributions were these 4-Ingredients Strawberry Ice Cream Pops & Chocolate Dipped Coconut Rum Pops

PS: I use THIS mold.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Frozen Lime Beach Pie Pops

Make about 9 popsicles.

3/4 cups fresh lime juice

zest of 1 lime, plus more for garnishing

1, 14 ounce, can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup heavy cream

Saltine Brittle:

1 cup crushed saltine crackers

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup sugar

White Chocolate Shell:

1 cup chopped white chocolate

1/4 cup coconut oil

sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest, and condensed milk. Whip the cream to a stiff peak in another bowl and fold into the condensed milk mixture. Divide the mixture between your popsicle molds and freeze for 1 hour before inserting the popsicle sticks. Freeze for several hours until solid.

for the saltine brittle:

Mix together the crushed crackers and melted butter to coat. Spread the saltines on a parchment lined baking sheet in an even layer. In a saucepan melt the sugar and water together and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the sugar becomes a deep, golden amber color. Remove from the heat and pour over the saltines. Set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, either chop finely with a knife or blitz in a food processor to get crumbs of brittle. Can be made a day or two ahead.

for the white chocolate shell:

Melt the white chocolate and coconut oil together in a measuring cup in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until the white chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

to finish the popsicles:

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment and placing it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to chill. Set out the melted white chocolate shell (if you used a bowl instead of measuring glass to melt it, I suggest pouring it into a wide-mouthed glass for easy dipping), crushed saltine brittle, zest, and salt. Remove the popsicles from their molds and quickly dip each in the white chocolate shell, sprinkle with the crushed saltine brittle, a little zest, and salt. Set on the chilled baking sheet and repeat. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to set up (about 10 minutes) before eating or placing into a zip-top bag and storing in the freezer. [/recipe]

 

 

 

 

Cherry-Almond Buckle

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How was your 4th of July weekend? Mine was pretttty goooood. We rendezvoused with a boatload of family/friends in Reno, then Tahoe, then Reno again. Casper got to meet all of my cousins, and play with a bunch of our friends babies, and hang with his uncles  and cousins and grandparents and aunt. There was sun, sand, a ton of rain, mountains, lake stuff, desert views, hot dogs, chorizo, a super good chai and breakfast calzone from Coffeebar in Reno, and fireworks on the lake. BOOM!

We are home now and I wanna talk about this cake because it has cherries and we like cake around here, right? This is actually a buckle and, from what I understand (thanks Internet), it’s a yellow cake with fruit mixed in or on top and the cake batter buckles around the fruit or the cake buckles in the center from the weight of the fruit. Basically, it’s a fruitcake of the non-scary holiday-time variety. It’s a fruitcake for summer and it’s wonderful. This buckle combines my current crush–cherries–with another favorite–almonds–plus a good dose of browned butter because, why not?

The flavors are reminiscent of this smoothie–but buttery and less healthful because, cake, obvs. The cake is sturdy yet tender, fragrant from the browned butter and almond extract (a totally winning combo, I think), with lots of juicy-just-sunken cherries, and a nice crisp texture on top from almonds and a sprinkling of sugar. The cake itself reminds me of this Rhubarb Crumb number, sans crumbs with a little easier execution and smaller pan size. It’s a casual cake perfect for casual summertime vibes.

 

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Cherry-Almond Buckle

Makes 1 8×8 inch square cake.

I made this recipe twice in one week, first cherries with sliced almonds and second with a combination of peaches and blueberries (bloobs!) with chopped almonds. Both buckles were delish, but I definitely preferred the texture of the sliced almonds on top over the chopped. Another note, this cake can be made in a regular mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula–no mixer or beaters necessary!

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, browned

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

2 large eggs

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups pitted cherries

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Brown the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the solids in the butter become deep brown and has a nutty fragrance. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on opposite sides and secure (I use binder clips for this task). Spray the parchment with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix to browned butter and 3/4 cup sugar to combine. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Mix in the yogurt and extracts.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold this into the butter and sugar mixture until just combined and there are no longer any streaks of flour throughout the batter. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and top with the pitted cherries, there will be a lot of cherries to batter, press down in spots as needed. Scatter the almonds over the top and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake (amke sure to test in a batter spot and not a cherry spot) comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing. Leftover cake keeps well wrapped in the refrigerator for a few days. Bring to room temperature before serving. [/recipe]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Cherry Agua Fresca

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One summer, after college, I worked at Whole Foods. It was a very short stint as part of the opening crew of a new store and one that I just, ultimately, wasn’t cut out for. I worked in the kitchen where it was hot from the cooking, humid from the dishwasher, and socially awkward from the insular group of cooks that had moved over from another store together. My report with the chef was good since it turned out I could crimp a billion pot pies neatly and quickly. It was the rest of the staff I couldn’t get in with.  It could have been my awkwardness and insecurity or their cliquey dude group, but it was probably both. Sometimes when I’d go into the walk-in to retrieve ingredients, I’d just bask in the refrigerated air for a minute while giving myself a pep-talk to get through the day. Then I’d wait till the last few hours to take my break so the light at the end of the tunnel didn’t seem so far off. I’d usually sit in my car with the AC blasting, chugging a watermelon agua fresca, while counting down the minutes until I could go home. So, basically I crimped pot pies, made salads, blended up agua fresca, and tried not to cry for a month before I peaced the f out and never looked back. The lesson? Life is too short for awkward work environments and the restorative power of agua fresca should not be underestimated.

Fast forward, like 8ish years, and I bought one of those agua frescas of my memories, reminiscing its thirst quenching abilities while I poured it over ice, only to be so disappointed by how cloyingly sweet it was. Sad trombone. But, there’s an upside to what has turned out to be an oddly depressing recounting of jobs-past. Agua fresca is damn easy to make. Like, why haven’t I been doing it for the better part of the last decade? It’s just fruit, water, and sugar. That’s it. Billy just posted this cute throwback number and he describes it like healthier kool-aid and I totally second that description. I opted to go for dark cherries here because I am obsessed with them every summer and always buy a ton and get super mad if I let them get wrinkly and sad before I use them.  Also, I have heart-eyeballs for that color. You should probably make this for the 4th of July festivities this weekend, or whatever other weekend happenings you may be enjoying–Netflix binging in your underpants, or whatever. I’m not here to judge. You could probably add some tequila/vodka/gin to this and make it a real party…you know, choose your own adventure.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Dark Cherry Agua Fresca

Makes about 1 liter.

There are a ton of agua fresca variations, but they all pretty much have about 4 cups of fruit (berries, stone fruits, melon) with about an equal amount of water and some sugar. You can pretty much make this with any fruit, just adjust the sugar to taste.

4 cups dark, sweet cherries, pitted

juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup sugar

3-4 cups cool water

Blend the cherries, lime juice, sugar, and 1 cup of water in a blender until the cherries are completely pureed. Stir in the remaining water (2-3 cups depending on how you would like the consistency, I like mine to be fairly thin and watery but still very cherry flavored). Serve in tall glasses over ice. Cheers! [/recipe]