Want a fresh and invigorating summer treat? Here's one: lemon rosemary popsicles!
Lemon Rosemary Homemade Popsicles
Popsicles are one of the best parts of summer – right up there with beach or pool trips and soaking up the sun. Nothing is more refreshing than a delicious popsicle on a too-hot day…or as perfect as popsicles enjoyed on the front porch of your house as you watch the sunset with friends or family. And while some say that they prefer ice cream, ice cream does require a spoon, whereas popsicles are way more convenient to eat on the go!
We all have great memories of enjoying popsicles as kids – Rocket Pops and Otter Pops, anyone? – but now that we’re a little older, our taste buds are looking for something a little more complex than sugar and primary colors. That’s where this recipe comes in: freshly squeezed lemon, honey and savory rosemary. I’m sure most of you use rosemary in savory dishes quite often, but have you ever included the fresh herb with dessert before? If not, I hope that these popsicles will win you over. The honey tempers the lemon’s tartness, but the rosemary brings an earthy, woody and wild flavor to lemon that makes the end result irresistible.
These are the ingredients we’ll be working with today:
- 3 medium-sized lemons
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. sugar (not pictured – whoops!)
- 2 c. water
- ¼ tsp. rosemary
And as you can see above, the most important thing you’ll need for making popsicles is a popsicle tray! I managed to find one at a nearby Marshall’s for $6.00. I would encourage those looking for a popsicle tray at a similar type of store (Ross, TJ Maxx, etc.) since they are very discounted from the original price! If you don’t have a store nearby (or don’t have the storage space for another kitchen contraption), you can always use 8 oz. paper cups, popsicle sticks and aluminum foil. Don’t worry – I’ll give you instructions for this method as well!
The rest of the tools you’ll need:
- kitchen knife
- fine-mesh strainer
Let's get started!
Slice the lemons into quarters – halve once, then halve one more time.
Place a fine-mesh strainer above your bowl – this will catch all of the pulp and seeds from the lemon when you juice it. Place a fork in the center of your lemon quarter.
Slowly squeeze the lemon quarter into the fork. Be careful – if you squeeze too quickly, you may get lemon drops flying in every which way. (I speak from experience: I sprayed a lemon drop into my eye while making these popsicles! It’s not fun, believe me.)
Alternately, if you have a juicer, feel free to use that instead. You should end up with ~ ½ cup of lemon juice, regardless of the method you use to juice your lemons.
Make sure to gently press down on the seeds and pulp on the strainer before you discard them – they can hold extra juice and every drop counts!
General Housekeeping Tip: I normally throw away most of the rinds, but I tend to save one or two to toss into my garbage disposal. Sometimes the mixture of things we toss in the garbage disposal gets a little funky, and grinding lemon rinds are a great, natural way of rinsing that smell out and replacing it with something refreshing.
Add 3 Tbsp. of honey to the lemon juice and mix well. I recommend mixing after each tablespoon of honey–it’s easier to mix smaller amounts of honey instead of a giant glob at the end. It will take a minute to dissolve the honey into the juice; bring your fork to the surface to make sure it’s no longer coated with honey before adding the next amount.
Add 1 Tbsp. of sugar and stir to mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Rinse a stalk of rosemary, then pat dry. Separate the leaves from the woody stalk–eyeball the amount of leaves to 1 tsp.
Finely mince the rosemary with your knife. You should end up with ~¼ tsp. of minced rosemary. You can definitely use more rosemary if you like – this amount will give a hint of rosemary to the popsicle but won’t be overly obvious. If you’re a big fan of rosemary (like me), add more!
Add the minced rosemary and 2 cups of water to the lemon mixture and stir well. At this point, I transferred the liquid to a measuring cup so that I would make less of a mess when pouring the mix into the popsicle molds.
Pour your lemon mixture into your popsicle molds. Make sure you stir each time before you pour to evenly distribute the rosemary between your popsicles. Unfortunately, the rosemary floats to the top of the cup–not as pretty as I would prefer, but the flavor is still just as amazing, trust me.
If you’re using cups and popsicle sticks, double up on your cups and fill them to the preferred amount per popsicle. I ended up with four popsicles using my mold.
If you’re using a popsicle mold, make sure you stop a centimeter or so short of the top of the mold! Ice expands, so if you fill the liquid to the top, it will freeze the popsicle top/stick to the mold and you’ll have a really hard time taking it out of the cup.
Snap your popsicle top/stick onto your popsicle mold and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight.
If you’re using cups, place them in your freezer. Cover your cups with aluminum foil, then poke holes in foil where the center of each up is and place the popsicle sticks into the holes. This will hold the sticks in place while the popsicle freezes.
Once the popsicles are completely frozen (or whenever you’re ready to dig in), take the popsicle tray out of the freezer. Run each mold under cool water–this will warm the surface of the popsicle just enough to make it easier for you to remove the popsicle from the mold. Distribute and enjoy!
If you’re using cups and popsicle sticks, just remove the aluminum foil and the stick will be securely frozen in place. You shouldn’t have any issues pulling the popsicle from the paper cup, but if you do, just run the bottom of it under some cool water and you’ll be set.
The consistency of these popsicles is more like a snowcone, with larger ice crystals and a good crunch. It reminds me of frozen lemonade with a pinch of savory – grown-up and delicious! I was much more conservative on the amount of sugar, so these popsicles were tangy; feel free to add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter flavor. I would refrain from adding any more honey as the flavor can quickly become overwhelming. Also, you might want to add more sugar because more sugar in the mix actually makes the ice crystals smaller – similar to a sorbet.
Thanks for checking out this recipe. I hope it inspires you to try different combinations of flavors with popsicles – and maybe you’ll discover a great combination including rosemary, too!
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