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.
- 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)
- 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!).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.