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Beat the Heat with Rhubarb Lime “Ice Pops”

My aunt had so much rhubarb in her garden this year that she almost didn’t know what to do with it all. Fortunately for me, one of the things she decided to do was give me a whole bunch of it, all cut up, frozen, and ready to use. It’s been sitting in my freezer calling my name for a while now, but it’s been too hot to bake the past couple of weeks. (And when even I won’t pull out the pie tins, that’s saying a lot!) So last week, when I stumbled across this recipe for a rhubarb lime juice concentrate, I knew exactly what to do with it.

The original recipe was intended to make a limeade drink, but I used the concentrate for ice pops instead. (Technically, the word “Popsicle” is a registered trademark, which is why I’m calling these “ice pops,” but it’s the same idea.) I made the pops a little stronger than I’d probably like it if I were using it as a drink, but they were delightfully tart and refreshing. And despite some brief effort on the stovetop, they’re totally easy and worth it to make! Here’s what you do.

a plastic tray for four ice pops with only one remaining. the tray and handle are blue and the popsicle shows pink through the white frosted plastic. the image has a filter and rounded edges on it to make it look old-fashioned.
Just a few hours after putting it in the freezer, this was all that was left.

Ingredients:
4 stalks diced rhubarb
5 limes (zest and juice)
1 cup sugar
Cold water
Ice pop molds or paper cups + wooden sticks

Place a medium-sized metal bowl in the freezer to start. Put the rhubarb, lime juice, zest, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, along with about 1/2 cup of cold water. (I used a bit less to compensate for the fact that the rhubarb was frozen.) Simmer on the stovetop until the rhubarb is soft. Take your bowl from the freezer and strain the liquids into it using a fine mesh strainer. Squish down the pulpy to get as much liquid out of it as possible. You can probably get away with using a plastic bowl, but it won’t get as cold as the metal. And of course, the liquid is hot, so you don’t want to use glass. Put the bowl of liquid in the refrigerator until it cools completely.

If you have ice pop molds, you can use them, but you can also use those paper Dixie Cups for the bathroom and some wooden tongue depressors. You could probably even get away with little cups or ramekins and eat it with a spoon like Italian ice. (I have to admit that the twisted ice pop molds I got on an impulse buy at Target didn’t come out of the molds very well because of the shape, so we ended up eating them with spoons. Still delicious!)

Prep whatever it is that you’re going to use for the ice pops. Fill it about halfway with the concentrate and the rest of the way with water. Give it a careful swish with a spoon to make sure it mixes well, then put them in the freezer until completely frozen. You can refrigerate any unused concentrate in an airtight container for a week or two. Since I only had a four-pop set, we had a lot of extras, some of which we drank as juice with dinner. Both the pops and the drink were delicious! I’d imagine it would be good with vodka or a clear rum as a mixer, too!

By BaseballChica03

Political hack. Word nerd. Stays crispy in milk. Oxford Comma user. Blogger since 2001.

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