After living in New York City for nearly nine years I rarely sigh and complain with the refrain “only in New York.” Most of the time the hustle and bustle of NYC is music to my ears. And many days I walk down the street in awe of this city, it’s rhythm, energy and totally unique personality. But last summer, I had one of those “only in New York” experiences.
I was walking to pick up my little one from daycare when two adorable siblings caught my attention with their home-made lemonade stand. These kids were excellent salespeople, and since I cannot resist homemade lemonade, I opted for a cup (for more than a dollar, hello New York!) and asked the kids what they were doing with the money. In my day, we either donated the money to charity, or bought a fun, new beach toy. Not these kids. They were on the fast track to Harvard. Filled with pride, the precocious 10 year old told me she is planning to donate her portion to pediatric cancer research (amen, sister) and her younger brother (all of six or seven years old) was saving up for his college education. Good for them. A combined age of 17 and these kids were doing it right. They had created a complete brand for their lemonade sale, were strategically placed, and not afraid to tout their business and fundraising plan. Well played, kids, well played. Alas, only in New York is lemonade more than a dollar, and a literal investment in a child’s future.
These popsicles are a hybrid of my childhood memories, and also my NYC surroundings. They are sweet, tart, refreshing and just a touch more sophisticated than your average popsicle.
If you have leftovers (which I did) try filling the ice cube tray and popping it in the freezer. This way, you have tiny little treats whenever you want – they’re the perfect size for toddlers, and a delicious addition to your morning cup of orange juice.
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For the strawberry sauce:
1 bag frozen strawberries, thawed completely
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
For the lemon sauce:
Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice (2 large lemons or 4 small lemons)
2 Tbsp sugar
For the Greek yogurt mixture:
2 cups of 2% (or higher) plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup sugar
Special equipment: popsicle molds
To make the strawberry sauce:
Pour a bag of thawed strawberries into a soup pot. Add the sugar and cook on high for approximately 5 minutes until the mixture is bubbling. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the mixture has thickened and reduced. Stir occasionally and mash up the berries. Let cool.
To make the lemon sauce:
Wash the lemons. Zest two of the lemons and set the zest aside. Next, juice 2-4 lemons, to yield ½ cup of lemon juice. Pour the lemon juice in a sauce pan, add the sugar, and bring to a boil. Let the juice continue to heat on low for another minute. Set aside.
To make the Greek yogurt base:
Pour 2 cups of yogurt into a bowl. Stir in ¼ cup sugar. Add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Next, fold in the lemon zest until completely mixed.
To assemble the popsicles put approximately 1 Tbsp of strawberry sauce at the bottom of the popsicle mold. Top with 2-3 Tbsp yogurt. Continue layering until you fill the popsicle mold.
Fill all the molds until you finish the yogurt and strawberry sauce. Freeze overnight. To enjoy, run the popsicle mold under hot water for 10 seconds and gently pull the popsicle handle until it releases from the mold.