Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Strawberry Basil Popsicles

There is a current seasonal flavor at Coldstone that you HAVE to try.  They have a strawberry basil ice cream that is fantastic! It is so good that I eat it just the way it is, without any mixins.

I thought about going home and trying to recreate it in my ice cream maker, which I still might do some day. But I also thought that I really don't need to be having all that extra fat and calories in my freezer to tempt me. I still wanted to play with the flavor combination, though, and decided to make some popsicles instead.

Last year I had decided to go the popsicle route and bought a used popsicle mold off of Ebay. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it turned out to be smaller than I anticipated. They are pretty small, kid-sized popsicles. After an initial disappointment, I decided that it was actually a blessing in disguise. After all, I still didn't need all that caloric temptation in my freezer. I'm better off with smaller caloric temptations than large ones. 

I actually have two basil plants in my garden this year. I have regular basil and a Thai basil. The Thai basil has a bit of anise flavoring. For this recipe I went with the Thai, but you can definitely use regular, sweet basil, which I'm sure is what Coldstone used. 

Notes: If I was making the ice cream I would steep the basil in the milk on the stove. For the popsicles I decided to steep the basil in the simple syrup. Also note that just a splash of alcohol (vodka or rum) will keep the popsicles from freezing to rock hard. You won't even notice such a little amount, but if you add too much they won't freeze, so just a splash! I like fruity, chunky popsicles, but you might choose to run the blended fruit mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth if you want to remove seeds.

Strawberry Basil Popsicles

1 basket of fresh strawberries
1 T corn syrup
1 T lemon juice
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c water
1 T minced basil leaves
splash of vodka or rum
In a small, microwaveable bowl mix together the sugar and water. Microwave for two minutes. Remove and stir to ensure the sugar is dissolved in the water. Add the minced basil leaves and let cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the hulled strawberries, lemon juice, and corn syrup. Blend thoroughly or until the consistency you like. (You might like a few fruit chunks.) Add the cooled syrup and a splash of alcohol. Do a quick pulse to mix. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

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