Happy happy Popsicle Week! This time last year I had just started my blog and had no clue whatsoever what popsicle week was, or why so many people were posting them all at once. Eventually I worked it out, and spent the week with mild FOMO and low key stalking all the posts. This time around, I was more than ready! This year there are a zillion of us posting popsicles this week! You can check out all of the posts here (there's some amazing ones there already!), or check out the hashtag on Instagram. Big ups to Billy of Wit and Vinegar for doing an amazing job rounding everyone up!
I've been wanting to make a lemon meringue pie for a while now. However it is currently a million degrees in our apartment, which is the least ideal temperature for working with pastry, so I abandoned that idea, and turned the pie into a popsicle. And it was probably one of the best decisions I could have made. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these are some of the best things that I have made. It's a big call, but I'm going for it. Kick-you-in-the-face punchy lemon curd is churned with a vanilla bean ice cream base. The mixture is then transferred to popsicle moulds, where it is layered with a pie-crumb streusel situation. Once the pops are set, they are swirled with swiss meringue and torched to toasty perfection. The result tastes like the love child of pie and ice cream. The creamy vanilla ice cream mellows the curd, the pie crumb adds crunch and a tiny bit of salt, and the meringue is just way too fun because who doesn't like burning things. I sent these to the studio with Rich once I had made them, and one of our staff described them as "if an ice cream truck was serving these, I would run down the street after it". I'll definitely take that.
On the grand scheme of popsicles, these are fairly involved. You have to make the ice cream base, curd, pie crumb and meringue all separately, but trust me on this when I tell you that it is SO worth it. Surprisingly, the meringue lasts in the freezer for a couple of days, so you can store any leftovers on a baking tray. However if you were only wanting to add meringue to the ones you are serving, the ice cream with the pie crumbs makes a pretty epic popsicle on its own. The recipe I have given does make more ice cream than you will need for the popsicles, but I am including the full recipe anyway, because, for no extra work, you also get a tub of lovely lemon ice cream, and some pie crumbs to sprinkle on top!
Ps: The nominations for the Saveur blog awards have just opened up and I would love if you snuck over there and flicked me a cheeky nomination! I'm still young enough for the "best new voice" category but feel free to go for whatever you think is best ;) x
A few wee notes:
- The recipe will make more than enough for 12 popsicles, however I only made 6 because I only have a 6-pack popsicle mould. Either way you will end up with extra ice cream - pop into a freezer safe container to go back to once the popsicles are done! It takes no extra work, and you get extra dessert. What more could you want.
- Because you aren't cooking the meringue it is important to use a method that 'cooks' the egg whites before you whip them - I went with Swiss. Make sure you take it to at least 70˚c / 160˚f.
- Make sure you freeze your ice cream maker the night before you plan to make these!
- I use this popsicle mould! It was kind of spendy but totally worth it after wasting money on a series of terrible ones.
- The curd and the ice cream do use up a lot of egg yolks - some of this is used in the meringue, but if you wanted you could make extra meringue and pipe it out or spoon onto a lined baking tray and bake off to make meringues! The ratio of whites to sugar is 1 part whites to 1.5 parts sugar, and the method is the same.
Lemon meringue Ice cream pops
- Makes 12 pops -
Pie crumb recipe from Milk Bar
Ice cream base
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (360ml) whole milk
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup (160ml) lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
8 egg yolks
6 Tbsp (90g) butter
440g (3 cups) flour
36g (4 Tbsp) sugar
6g (1 1/2 tsp) salt
230g (2 sticks) butter, browned
40g (3 Tbsp) water
150g egg whites
225g granulated sugar
- PROCESS -
ICE CREAM BASE
In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk well until pale. Set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, combine the whole milk and vanilla paste. Warm until bubbles begin to form around the outer edge of the pot. Bring to a light simmer. Remove from the heat.
Pour half of the milk into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk briskly until combined. This will temper the egg yolks and stop them from scrambling.
Pour the milk yolk mixture back into the pot, and return to a low heat. Whisk constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, and registers at 170˚f / 75˚c on a thermometer.
Strain though a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the cream. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least two hours, or overnight.
Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Combine all of the ingredients, whisking often. Watch the edges of the mixture carefully to ensure that it does not catch and go lumpy.
Heat until the mixture is thick enough that when you coat the back of a spoon with curd, you can drag a finger through it, and leave a clear track. Transfer to a bowl or container, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. Add the butter and water and mix on low until clustered.
Spread the mixture on the tray, and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Break up into smaller clumps during the baking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will firm up a lot during cooling). Store in an airtight container until ready to use
Add the ice cream base to the bowl of your ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. After 5 minutes of churning, add in the cooled lemon curd.
Once the ice cream is churned, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip, or with the end cut off. Fill your popsicle molds 1/3 of the way, then add a tablespoon of the pie crumb to each mold. Use the back of a spoon to lightly mix the crumb and ice cream. Repeat this process with the next 1/3 of the mold, then top off with ice cream. Place sticks into the pops and place in the freezer to harden, at least 2-3 hours.
Once you are ready to serve the pops, run each mold under hot water for a few seconds to help release. Transfer the pops to a lined baking tray and place back into the freezer for a further 20-30 minutes while you make the meringue.
To serve, spread meringue on the top 2/3 of the pop using an offset spatula. Torch lightly using a blowtorch. Serve immediately. Torched pops are best eaten straight away, but will last for a few days in the freezer on a lined baking tray.
Measure the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 70˚c / 160˚f on a thermometer.
Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 5-6 minutes.