These popsicles taste like summer. They are icy and refreshing with a turn toward the tropical. They taste intensely of mango, with just enough lime to enliven the whole thing.
They remind me of one of my favorite agua frescas, the one I inevitably, invariably order when I find myself sitting at O’Hare for any length of time within a reasonable distance of Tortas Frontera, the airport outpost of the Rick Bayless empire. The mango lime flavor combination just hits the spot for me. It makes everything, even waiting at the airport for a delayed flight, better.
Here, I’ve taken that flavor combination and frozen it into popsicles. I can think of nothing I’d rather let drip down my arm while sitting outside on a hot summer day.
I start with frozen mango pulp. It’s easier than peeling and pureeing fresh mangoes, but you could certainly do that if you like. I break up the frozen block and gently thaw it in a saucepan over low heat until it turns to liquid.
Then I put some water and sugar in a saucepan and add some lime peels and heat until the sugar dissolves to create a thin lime-infused syrup.
I let the lime syrup steep while I squeeze lime juice into the thawed mango pulp. Then I strain the syrup to remove the pieces of peel.
Then it’s a simple matter of stirring the mango-lime juice mixture into the syrup and then pouring the resulting mixture into popsicle molds, popping them in the freezer, and waiting for them to freeze.
There are about a million different popsicle molds out there, but most of them are plastic. I’ve been trying to cut down on the plastic in my life over the last few years. These stainless steel molds are the best plastic-free popsicle molds I’ve found. They’re sturdy, easy to clean, and my popsicles never taste plasticky, which is a win for me.
This might just be my summer of popsicles. I’ll get to making more, just after I have another one of these.
Mango Lime Popsicles
- 14 ounces mango pulp (400 grams, about 1 3/4 cups)
- 2 limes
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- If using frozen mango pulp, break it up into chunks and place in a medium saucepan. Heat over low heat, just to thaw. You don’t want to cook it, you just want to melt it. Set aside.
- Add water and sugar in a small saucepan. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off large pieces of lime rind and place in the saucepan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let the lime steep for about 10 minutes.
- Juice the limes and add the juice to the thawed mango pulp. Strain the lime syrup into a large mixing bowl or pitcher (something with a pouring spout would be idea) and discard the lime peels. Add the mango pulp and lime juice to the syrup and mix until combined. Pour into popsicle molds, leaving a few millimeters at the top to allow for expansion. Place in the freezer. When the popsicles have begun to set, after about 2 hours, place the popsicle sticks in the center of the popsicles (if your molds have lids to hold the popsicle sticks in place you can do add the sticks before putting them in the freezer). Freeze until solid, at least 5 hours or overnight.
- Run molds under cool water for a few seconds to unmold.