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Lemon Puddin' Pops

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Lemon Puddin' Pops

Lemon Puddin' Pops
Lisa Warninger
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total prep
Lemon curd doesn’t last long in my kitchen, but one day I actually did have some extra lingering in the fridge, and I wondered what would happen if I froze it. I figured I had a fifty-fifty chance of ending up with something icy and weird or something really awesome. I got lucky, because the result was amazing—silky, smooth frozen lemon custard that just melts in your mouth. It was just begging to be turned into a pudding pop, so I froze some more in little vintage gelatin molds and rolled the pops in crushed gingersnaps. Hot damn! This is such a fun dessert to serve in the summertime, when you crave something cool and creamy but want something with a little more personality than a scoop of ice cream. You can even tuck some fresh market berries into the molds for added pops of color and texture. Lemon and raspberry is a particularly happy match. Try serving them with some Fresh Whoop on the side and experiment with dipping options, like toasted coconut and finely chopped toasted nuts.

Recipe courtesy of The Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Twisted Treats from the Sweetest Little Food Cart on the Planet by Kir Jensen/Chronicle Books, 2012.

Ingredients

  • LEMON CREAM:
  • 1 recipe Luscious Lemon Curd, cooled (see recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • GINGERSNAP CRUNCH:
  • 1 cup finely ground gingersnap cookies (about 15-20 crispy cookies)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • LUSCIOUS LEMON CURD (Makes 2 cups):
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Directions

  • To make lemon curd:In a medium stainless-steel saucepan (don’t use aluminum, copper, or cast iron, or it will react with the acidic lemon juice and impart a metallic taste), combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture starts to thicken and bubble, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a stainless-steel bowl.
    Make an ice bath in a larger bowl and lower the bowl of lemon curd into the bath to stop the cooking process. When the curd has cooled a bit, place plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep it from forming a skin. To help speed up the cooling and thickening process, place the curd--ice bath and all--in the refrigerator.
    Once the curd has completely cooled and thickened, transfer it to an airtight container (or a mason jar, if you want to give some as a gift) and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

  • To make the lemon cream: Place six to eight gelatin molds or popsicle molds in the freezer to chill. (The amount of pops this recipe makes depends on the size of your molds. I get eight pops using my small, 3-ounce vintage gelatin molds, or six when I use standard 4-ounce popsicle molds.)

  • In the bowl of a blender or food processor, purée the cooled lemon curd for 30 seconds. Add the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time, blending for a few seconds between each addition. (Once the curd has been whipped it will turn a lovely pale yellow and it will have the most amazing lighter-than-air texture. I highly recommend this technique even if you’re serving the lemon curd straight up.) Transfer the mixture to a 4-cup liquid measuring cup with a spout and pour into the pre-chilled molds. (If you want to add berries place a few at the bottom of the molds, then tuck a few more in once the molds have been filled, though you might need a couple more molds.)

  • Tap out any excess air bubbles, insert popsicle sticks, and return to the freezer to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. They need to be completely frozen before unmolding.

  • To make the gingersnap crunch: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and salt. Pour in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, until beginning to crisp. Set aside to cool.

  • Place a warm washcloth on the outside of the molds for a few seconds to help loosen the frozen curd. Holding the stick, invert the molds and gently lift off. Roll the popsicles in the gingersnap crunch and serve immediately.