Mojito Fruit Ice Pops
Yields 20 pops
by Rick Bayless
from Fiesta at Rick's
All summer long in Chicago, just as in Mexico and other U.S. cities, the jangle of paleteros' jingle-bell carts ricochets through parks and neighborhood streets. My favorite flavor of the Mexican frozen fruit pops they sell is sweet cucumber-lime, either with spicy red chile or without. Unless it's the mango (sweet or spicy) or the guanabana or fresh coconut. Or guava-did I mention guava? They're easy to make in big quantities, too. Two ten-pop molds turn out dessert for a crowd in no time. And you can customize them, since basically you're making a limeade base, which can embrace practically any berries or cubed fruit. A little sparkling water and some fresh mint gives your pops a sophisticated "mojito" flair.
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups sparkling water
2 10-ounce bags frozen fruit pieces (choose raspberries, blueberries or diced mango or melon-or practically any fruit that suits your fancy)
Measure the sugar into a food processor. Add the mint and pulse until the mint is finely chopped. Scrape the sugar into a large bowl and add the lime juice and sparkling water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Divide the frozen fruit pieces among 20 ice pop molds, then fill with the lime mixture, leaving about 1/4-inch head space for expansion. Secure the lids, insert the sticks through the holes, making sure that they're straight and that 1-1/2 to 2 inches remains exposed (for easy grasping). Slide the molds into the freezer.
When the ice pops are firmly set (this will take a couple of hours in most freezers) they're ready to serve. Remove the lids from the molds, then either squeeze the sides of each mold to free the pops or run the mold under warm water to release them.