Summer is in full swing in my home state of Indiana this week – in fact, the high there today is supposed to be 102! Here I am in Sydney complaining that it’s too cold, but my family in Indiana is complaining that it’s too hot! Well, my fellow Hoosiers, this recipe will cool you down a real treat. The flavors of matcha and strawberry (one of my all-time most favorite flavor combinations) combine into one amazing, refreshing and cooling popsicle.
I have not yet seen this flavor combination in popsicle form. Some inspiration lent itself from the matcha strawberry cupcakes I made for an Iron Cupcake: Earth competition in June 2009. Those cupcakes were out-of-this world delicious.
But these popsicles are even more amazing. The flavors of both the matcha and strawberry are strong and ice cold. The striped popsicles were lovely, but I wanted to get the matcha and strawberry in one single bite. So I filled some matcha popsicles with my strawberry mixture. As you do.
Yes, now that was perfect! Matcha on the outside, strawberry on the inside! Wondering how to do that clever little trick? It’s so easy. You’ll need a Zoku Quick Pop Maker though. Fill the molds with your outside flavor (in my case, matcha). Wait for 30 seconds-2 minutes, depending on how thick you want the outer layer to be and how quick your Zoku is freezing the liquid. Then, stick a straw to the very bottom of the mold (but don’t poke through the outer layer – be gentle!) and suck out the unfrozen liquid. If you have a thin sort of turkey baster thing you can use that too (or you can use the siphon tool in this set from Zoku). Then pour in the flavor you want on the inside and let it freeze. Easy.
I’ve also made strawberry popsicles with a yogurt filling. Those were very yummy too!
A quick note on the matcha popsicles – the longer you leave them in the freezer (we’re talking over one day), the darker the matcha will become. It doesn’t seem to affect the flavor, just the color. And why did I call them “matcha latte”? Because I made the matcha part of the popsicles with lots of milk and cream!
If you’re after a refreshing and cooling pick-me-up treat this summer, I guarantee that these matcha latte strawberry popsicles will do the trick!
Adapted from Zoku Quick Pops recipe book
Makes 6 popsicles (plus some leftover to drink!)
For the matcha latte layer:
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh matcha (it should be bright green), sifted
1/2 to 1 teaspoon warm water
1 1/3 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
Combine sifted matcha and warm water in a small bowl and stir until it forms a smooth paste. You may need more warm water. Set aside.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat (do not boil). Whisk in the matcha paste (you don’t have to add all the paste if you feel the matcha flavor is strong enough and the color is green enough) and the sugar. You’ll probably notice little lumps of undissolved matcha – that’s okay, mine didn’t dissolve fully either. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Place in the refrigerator until completely cool, stirring every so often.
For the strawberry layer:
8 1/2 ounces hulled, quartered strawberries
3 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Puree strawberries and milk in a blender until completely smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the strawberry seeds – you’ll need to use a spoon to help push the mixture through the sieve. Whisk in the cream, sugar and vanilla until incorporated and the sugar has dissolved.
Assembly: Freeze in alternate layers in your Zoku Quick Pop Maker (refer to freezing instructions that came with your Zoku if unsure), letting each layer freeze completely before adding the next layer. Or, fill molds with matcha latte layer, freeze for 30 seconds-2 minutes, depending on how thin or thick you want the outer layer to be. Stick a straw into the unfrozen liquid in the middle and suck it out. Fill the empty matcha shells with the strawberry layer and let freeze completely. Remove popsicles according to the Zoku instructions.