Cranberry Orange Rhubarb Popsicles

The weather forecast is calling for back-to-back 95+ degree days here in New York: a perfect time to use up my leftover rhubarb pulp to make a frosty treat. With some frozen Cape Cod cranberries, a bit of orange juice and sugar for sweetener and a touch of tequila (because, why not?) to keep everything toothsomely delicious, I have to say that these are pretty darn good.

I don’t have popsicle molds, nor Dixie cups, nor a craft-cabinet stocked with disposable popsicle sticks (nor kids: coincidence?). What I do have is lots & lots of Ball jars: the tiny quarter-pint size seemed perfect for popsicles. I cut the sharp tips off the ends of a few bamboo appetizer skewers, whipped up popsicle pulp in the Cuisinart, and a few hours later: dinner. I’m off to enjoy another one now, and to root on the US as they (hopefully) spank the shin guards off of our neighbors to the North.

Stay cool!

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Cranberry Rhubarb Orange Popsicles

INGREDIENTS

  • about 12 oz rhubarb pulp (leftover from 2 lbs of stewed rhubarb, drained for juice)
  • 8 oz (1 cup) orange juice
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp fine-grain sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 2 tbsp tequila
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 cup organic cranberries (I used frozen)

METHODS

  1. Combine rhubarb pulp, orange juice, sugar, tequila and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process for several minutes until very smooth (and any stringy rhubarb bits are well broken-down). Taste and adjust sugar or other flavorings (at this point, the mixture will be a thick, but very unappetizing pale brown color; never fear, cranberries to the rescue!).
  2. Add cranberries and process for 1 minute or so, until the mixture turns a lovely shade of pink yet there are still some intact bits of cranberry visible in the mix.
  3. Taste again and adjust any flavorings. Spoon into 1/4-pint jars, popsicle molds, tall shot glasses, or muffin tins; tap the container a few times on the counter to even out the top and fill in any air holes. Allow to freeze partially (about 1 hour) before adding popsicle sticks (or trimmed bamboo skewers). Alternatively, cover containers with plastic wrap and poke the sticks through the wrap, which will hold the sticks in place while the popsicles freeze.

Yields 8, 4-oz popsicles.

OPTIONS

  1. The addition of tequila is to keep the popsicles from freezing into an absolute solid (much like the concept of a granita). You could add a tablespoon or two of an invert sugar, like corn syrup or glucose, for the same effect.
  2. Popsicle recipes are inherently easy and highly flexible: use apple, grape or berry juice, skip the cranberries and use blue or blackberries instead, go savory with some rosemary, salt & pepper. Go wild.

STORE

Frozen.

SEASON

Summer!

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17 comments

  1. Kat

    These look so good! It’s been about that hot here, too, and I’ve made lemonade popsicles, and a (strange, but good) cranberry slushie–but this is pretty brilliant. Oh, and I made my popsicles–greedily–in 8 oz. jars, and regretted it when I could hardly finish one.

    • Kat,

      Cranberry slushie sounds awesome. But then again, I love cranberries just about as much as rhubarb so, I’m probably biased. :)

      I thought about 8-oz jars, because it does seem more like the size of a regular popsicle; but I think because homemade popsicles contain actual fruit (and fiber) as opposed to just sugar & flavoring, they fill you up more. The 4-oz was a great size and didn’t get too melty before I could finish it.

  2. LOVE the pops in ball jars. Inspired – they are so good for so many things. I made some rhubarb puree for pops last weekend and then promptly dropped the container on the floor, so I am back at it again. I do have loads of kids, craft sticks and ball jars but I also have the Zoku pop maker and it’s our favorite summer toy. Quiet convenient for frozen cocktails on a hot, hot night.

  3. And I forgot to mention, that of course you just run the jar under some hot water to loosen and remove the popsicle. The nice thing about the Ball jars is that they are individual, so you can simply remove & loosen one at a time.

  4. Have you been peeking in my freezer? I’ve got two bags of cranberries and a bag of rhubarb. Didn’t have quite enough for the recipe I wanted so I chopped and froze it for later….

    …next time you are at the doctor’s ask for some complimentary tongue depressors. Better for big hands. :P

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  6. Hi Jason,

    Ball jars, and any Mason-type jar, are tempered glass, meaning you can freeze & thaw in them safely. While I wouldn’t pull this directly out of the freezer and dump it into boiling water, you can safely rinse the jar under hot water in order to loosen the popsicle for removal without worrying about the jar breaking. Of course, *any* glass can break, so you need to use appropriate caution, but I’ve frozen in Ball jars quite a bit without issue.

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