Casey Barber offers a bunch of ice cream truck treats in her new cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch. Some of them, like the Chocolate Eclair and Strawberry Shortcake bars, send my mind right back to my childhood summers working in a poolside concession stand. Others, like the Klondike Bars and Creamsicles, sound more appealing now that I yearn for bold, simple flavors more than super-sweet ice cream.
In particular, the Creamsicles make for an appealing late-winter dessert. After all, citrus is hitting its peak. But how to create a double-layered popsicle without any fancy popsicle-freezing equipment? Barber’s answer? Dixie cups. She freezes a rich vanilla ice cream base in those tiny 3-ounce cups known on college campuses as jello-shot cups. Once hard, the ice cream cores are dunked into a larger 5-ounce cup full of an orange juice and sugar mixture. One more trip in the freezer, and the hacked Creamsicle is born.
Why I picked this recipe: In a chapter full of tips and tricks for replicating an entire Good Humor truck menu, these Creamsicles stood out as a refreshing and relatively easy alternative.
What worked: These Creamsicles were the perfect blend of tang and cream.
What didn’t: Nothing, really. Even though my freezer went down overnight while these were freezing, they still turned out great!
Suggested tweaks: I could only find 3-ounce and 9-ounce paper cups at my grocery store, but the popsicles still worked fine in the bigger size. Barber also suggests experimenting with fruit juices here for the outer layer. Meyer lemon juice would be a particularly good fit this time of year.
Reprinted from Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats by Casey Barber. Copyright 2013. Published by Ulysses Press. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
Special equipment: ice cream maker, 3-ounce Dixie cups, 5-ounce Dixie cups, popsicle sticks
serves makes 6 popsicles, active time 30 minutes, total time 10 hours
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- 3 cups light cream or whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Orange Layer
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, from 4 to 5 oranges
- 1 1/2 teaspoons half and half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
Make the vanilla ice cream base: Bring the cream to a bare simmer in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, just until it is steaming and small bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and vanilla until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Transfer to a clean bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until fully chilled. When the ice cream base is fully chilled, freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When it has completed its cycle the ice cream will have the consistency of soft-serve.
Assemble the popsicles: Completely fill 6 (3-ounce) Dixie cups with the ice cream, insert Popsicle sticks, and freeze for 2 hours until fully hardened.
While the vanilla layer chills, whisk the orange juice, half and half, and powdered sugar together in a liquid measuring cup. Set 6 (5-ounce) Dixie cups on a small, freezer-safe plate or baking sheet and pour 1/4 cup of the orange juice mixture into each cup.
Peel the Dixie cups off the frozen ice cream and insert the pops into the orange juice–filled Dixie cups, pushing down to displace the juice and cover the ice cream entirely. Add more juice to cover as necessary. You may have to weigh the ice cream down with an additional baking sheet and bag of frozen peas to make sure the vanilla layer stays submerged.
Freeze for 4 hours, until the juice is fully hardened. Peel the Dixie cups off before serving. Store the Popsicles in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a month.