Heirloom Summer Popsicles

By Whitney Pipkin, Photography by Hannah Hudson. From our Summer 2016 Issue: The Last Bite.


They say cherry tomatoes are summer’s best candy, so why shouldn’t they—and their heirloom cousins—be dessert, too? Tomatoes are a fruit, after all, and heirloom varieties like Brandywine and Aunt Ruby’s German Green, prized for their uniqueness, come in as many shapes, sizes and flavors as, well, a popsicle. Add a splash of watermelon and you have yet another way to savor the orbs that are the essence of the season.

And, while you’re at it, why not make a popsicle out of another quintessential summer ingredient that rarely gets star billing for its sweet side? We asked the folks at Pleasant Pops to fork over this recipe for their version of sweet creamed corn on a stick. And why wait for dessert to serve these on a sultry night? Serve them as starters with a glass of chilled fino sherry for a cool twist on a first course.

Because your summer could use a little extra produce—and dessert.

Tomato Watermelon Pops

Recipe by Hannah Hudson

3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, chopped 2 pounds watermelon, cubed 2 limes, juiced 1 tablespoon sugar Thinly sliced jalapeños (to taste) 1 pinch sea salt

Blend tomatoes in a food processor or blender; let drain through a sieve until completely drained. Reserve the strained juice. Repeat with the watermelon.

Combine the tomato, watermelon and lime juice. Wearing gloves, seed the jalapeños and thinly slice them. Add as much jalepeño as desired for spice and let steep in the combined juice for an hour. For extra spice, leave sliced jalapeño inside the popsicles. Freeze overnight. Makes about 12 6-ounce pops.

Pleasant Pops Sweet Cream and Corn

Pleasant Pops, a frozen pops maker and retailer, was founded by friends Roger Horowitz and Brian Sykora, while in college. They started selling their frozen pops, made with the freshest ingredients from local farmers when ever seasonal and possible, and premiered their pops at the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market. They now have two retail locations in Adams Morgan and downtown DC, where they serve up craft coffee, a menu of pop flavors and café food including soup and sandwiches. They also sell locally made food products, and strongly support local producers in the DC area and love working with other small food startups that have similar stories to theirs. They shared this recipe with us, and much of the sweet corn found at area farm markets now are heirloom or varieties that grow uniquely well in the DMV farm area. For more information, go to http://www.pleasantpops.com/

4 ears corn (Use the sweetest corn from your local farmers market.) ½ gallon milk (We use Trickling Spring Whole milk, available from our shop or many other purveyors.) 2 cups organic cane sugar (Or substitute honey, agave or maple syrup.)

Shuck the corn and, using a knife, take off all of the kernels. Save the cobs! Add the 4 corn cobs, all of the kernels, all of the milk and sugar to stockpot and simmer for 30 minutes on low heat (be careful that it doesn’t boil or reach a scalding temp (180°).

Remove cobs and make sure that all of the other ingredients are completely mixed together. Cool your mixture in an ice bath in your sink or in a bigger pot or bowl. Once cool, pour your pops in any ice pop molds or even little paper cups in a pinch. Remember to put your sticks in the middle (this can be done an hour after the pops have been in a freezer so the mixture is beginning to harden.)

Pops should be frozen in 2 or 3 hours in your freezer, as long as they have been cooled down before going in.

Yield about 12 (6-ounce) pops. www.pleasantpops.com