Oh man, these ice pops take some time to prepare (well, you have to wait for stuff to cool and set up, so it takes a few hours of waiting, but not too much time of actual WORK), but holy moly, they are worth every second of it! The last time I made them, Mike and I ate all 10 in about three days! We couldn’t help ourselves! They are so full of flavor and deliciousness, you can not control yourself! Besides, they came out of the June 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine, and are made with real fruit, so seriously, how bad can they be for you? right?! …right???
Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 cups packed (1/2-inch) cubed seeded watermelon
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
To prepare watermelon layer, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook 30 seconds, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in mint; cover and let stand 30 minutes. IMPORTANT: Do not mis-read this as let stand 30 SECONDS as I did the first time…that results in still delicious pops, but a total waste of the mint that you spent all morning hunting down!
Strain through a sieve into a bowl. (I just picked out the mint, how many friggin sieves do these people think I own?!)
Place watermelon in a blender; process until smooth. Strain puree through a sieve into bowl with mint syrup; press with back of a spoon to extract juice. Discard solids. Stir in lime juice; cover and chill 1 hour.
Pour about 2 1/2 tablespoons watermelon mixture into each of 8 ice pop molds. Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until almost set. Arrange 1 wooden stick into mixture, being careful not to push through to bottom of mold. Return to freezer. Freeze 1 hour or until frozen.
To prepare lemon layer, combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook 30 seconds, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour into a bowl; stir in lemon juice, orange juice, and extract. Cool 15 minutes; cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Remove molds from freezer. Pour about 3 tablespoons lemon mixture over frozen watermelon mixture in each mold. Freeze 2 hours or until completely frozen.
Note: If you have those really cool popsicle sets from like the 80’s where the sticks are part of the lid and you don’t think you can add the sticks and then take them out to make layers, I say no worries…just swirl both bowls together and pour them in! You will just have some nice watermelony/lemon pops instead of a layer of each flavor!