Summer is all about enjoying the fresh bounty of fruits that floods the farmer’s market. We picked up a few favorites ourselves, namely blueberries, strawberries and mangoes. But alas, we stocked our pantry with more fruit than we could consume – and I was in no mood to spend my holiday weekend cooking a lot of stuff. So I was searching for some simple ways to use my fresh fruit bounty, and make something that the whole family could enjoy. Luckily, Woman’s Day came to my rescue with this Strawberry Yogurt Pops recipe [photo by Rita Maas]. I was instantly drawn to the beautiful Swirl pops, and it was a great way to use up my fruits. But I craved for a more decadent treat, and so I thought it would be good to substitute the yogurt in the recipe with some cream cheese! These delicious Fruit Smoothie Popsicles at Modern Comfort Food were a wonderful inspiration.
Back in India when I was a kid, we used to get Mango Dollies and Raspberry Dollies, which were basically fruit popsicles made with fruit purees and ice-cream. I loved these, and invariably had one of these every other day in sizzling hot summers. So, reliving fond childhood memories, I decided to recreate that aura by making these Strawberry Cream Cheese Frozen Popsicles. They are simple, and don’t really need a recipe, but nevertheless, here is how I made them.
Strawberry – Yogurt – Cream Cheese Popsicles
1 lb strawberries, hulled
1⁄3 cup plus 1⁄4 cup fine sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese
2 Squeeze bottles or pastry bags – to create the swirl effect
Place strawberries, 1⁄3 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender; purée for about 3-5 minutes. Pour into a large plastic squeeze bottle and screw on bottle top.
In a medium bowl, stir remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar into yogurt and cream cheese mixture until sugar is dissolved. Pour into the second squeeze bottle and screw on bottle top.
Fill each pop mold with strawberry and yogurt mixtures, alternately squeezing or spooning the mixtures into each mold to create a swirled pattern. If you don’t have squeeze bottles, you can easily use spoons to form alternating layers, or even pastry bags to squeeze the mixture into the molds.
Insert wooden or plastic sticks into the molds, and cover the tops. Freeze at least 6 hours until solidly frozen.
When ready to serve, remove molds from the freezer. Soften slightly by dipping each mold under warm running water. remove the popsicles from the molds. Serve immediately, for a cool and refreshing treat!
The fruit and cream cheese popsicles are a great alternative to standard fruit pops, or the more richer ice cream counterparts. You can experiment with any flavor that you like – fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, even fruits like peaches or Mangoes would be great! I think I’m going to go for the Mango ones next time. If you want low-fat versions, replace the cream cheese with vanilla yogurt for a low-calorie yet creamy treat.