Kiwi Lime Pie Popsicles

Welcome to #Popsicleweek!!  Creamy, non-dairy kiwi lime popsicles with a graham "crust" and torched meringue topping.

Kiwi Lime Pie Popsicles with torched meringue.  Non-dairy

You know you are an adult/mom when you go out and buy yourself a blender for Mother's Day.  It's not because Brett forgot to get me a gift nor am I complaining for the seemingly" unromantic" gift, it was something I requested months in advance.  My very first Vitamix!!  You guys, I am so in love.  Now I get it.  It's magical.  I was never really living before now.

It's easier to "justify" the hefty price tag on kitchen appliances when you work with food for a living.  But dang those blenders are pretty expensive.  Sure I use my Kitchen Aid mixer(s) daily (the two I have are still going strong after surviving my bakery days), but a blender?  I wasn't sure...

What I do know is how much this toddler of mine loves smoothies and how it's nearly impossible to get any type of vegetable into his growing body unless in liquid form.  So the questions was, how many green smoothies do we need to make with the new blender to cancel out all the $8 Caribbean Dreams from Whole Foods he pounds?  I didn't actually do the math, but I felt pretty good throwing the new "smoothie maker" (because that's really what it's for, right?) into the Costco cart.

Kiwi Lime Pie Popsicles with torched meringue.  Non-dairy

Okay, obviously a high-powered blender is much more than just a smoothie maker.  It makes popsicles too!  Especially these Kiwi Lime Pie Popsicles that I made with soaked cashews.  Soooo good, guys!

The inspiration behind these popsicles comes from an old Friends episode – the one where Ross mistakes Monica's Kiwi Lime Pie for regular Key Lime Pie and ends up in the hospital with an allergic reaction.  He's afraid of needles and asks the doc if they could use the needle like a squirt gun to administer the meds.  Does anyone else remember this?  Are Brett and I the only couple that watches Friends on Netflix on a loop?  Like, when the last episode finishes, we just start over again?  Admittedly, we might have a problem.... even Everett knows when to clap during the intro...

Anyways, Kiwi Lime Pie Pops!!  The problem I always have when making homemade popsicles, as well as muffins, is that I always try to make them too healthy.  As a result, my pops are usually icy from not using enough sugar and my muffins are always dry and bland.  But not this time, folks!  I decided to blend soaked cashews with coconut milk to make the pops extra creamy.  Can you believe my non-dairy pops turned out creamier than any other milk or yogurt-based popsicles I've made in the past?  I was afraid the coconut flavor would overpower nearly any other ingredient, so I decided to add sweet yet tart kiwis and loads of fresh lime juice.  After pouring the blend into the molds and chilling for a couple hours, I simply crushed up some cinnamon graham crackers and sprinkled them into the bottom of the pops as the "crust."

Kiwi Lime Pie Popsicles with torched meringue.  Non-dairy
Kiwi Lime Pie Popsicles with torched meringue.  Non-dairy

I think I first saw torched meringue on a fudgesicle to make the ultimate s'more pop done by Donna Hay last year.  I chickened out on making my own then, but have since seen tons of different variations around the web.  This year, I wanted to give it a try.  Even though the idea is not totally new, I can't ever seem to pass up using my culinary torch.  The meringue is actually super easy to add onto the frozen pops and stays soft and chewy in the freezer.  Just torch and place them back on a sheet pan in the freezer and cover until ready to eat.

Be sure to head on over to Wit and Vinegar for the official POPSICLE WEEk round-up!  There should be like 120 participants this year.  So as Everett would say (we just taught him this), "Stay cool, my baby!"

Kiwi Lime Pie Popsicles
adapted from Minimalist Baker
makes about 10 popsicles

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 to 6 hours
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
juice from 3 large limes (about 1/3 cup)
3 ripe golden kiwis, skin removed or 4 regular kiwis
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar, or to taste

1 cup crushed graham crackers

2 large egg whites
2/3 cup sugar

Place the soaked cashews, coconut milk, lime juice, kiwis, and honey in a high-powered blender.    Blend on high until creamy and smooth**

Distribute evenly in the popsicle molds and freeze for about 1-2 hours,  Sprinkle in the graham cracker crumbs and press them gently into the "batter."  Insert the sticks and freeze until solid.

When ready (once the pops are frozen), place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Fill a saucepan with a few inches on water and bring to a simmer.  Lower the heat and place the mixer bowl on top to create a double-boiler.  Whisking intermittently, heat the egg white mixture until 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Carefully remove the mixer bowl and place it on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk on high util stiff peaks and the mixture has returned to room temperature (about 8 minutes).  

Dip, dollop, and swirl the meringue on the frozen popsicles.  Place on a sheet pan and refreeze for 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove from the freezer and toast the meringue with a culinary torch!  Enjoy immediately, or place back on a sheet pan, cover and freeze.

 

**the seeds from the kiwis may make the mixture seem slightly grainy.  I ended up blending just a bit longer than normal to compensate.  You can try straining them out, but it wasn't worth the trouble for me.  Once frozen, you can hardly notice.

 

Frozen Raspberry Cashew Cake

Vibrant raspberry sauce tops this decadent frozen cashewmilk cake studded with fresh berries atop a nutty no-bake crust. A creamy vegan, gluten-free frozen treat for summer!

Frozen raspberry cashewmilk cake - gluten, diary, and egg free.

At the height of summer, when you just can’t bare to turn on the oven, it is essential to be prepared with an arsenal of frozen, no-bake desserts.  Topping my growing list of refreshing treats to combat the heat is this Frozen Raspberry Cashew Cake! 

Frozen raspberry cashewmilk cake - gluten, dairy, and egg free.
Frozen raspberry cashewmilk cake - gluten, dairy, and egg free.

As I’ve mentioned before, when ever I stumble upon a gluten-free or vegan recipe that I can’t help but share, it is not because I abide by any particular diet, but that it just happens to taste amazing that way.  Most of the recipes on this website are riddled with butter and cream, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that is how I eat in my own day to day.  Sure, I am constantly trying out new recipes for cake/pie/etc and sneak countless sample slices, but I try to find balance with the other meals and snacks I provide for my family. 

For this recipe, I took a page from some of my favorite alternative health blogs to create this no-bake dessert.  Similar to a raw, frozen cheesecake, this dessert layers a walnut-date crust, creamy cashew frozen dessert studded with fresh raspberries, and a vibrant raspberry puree.  Dairy-free decadence for breezy, summer living!

A non-dairy dessert that is actually creamy?  You bet! From a girl that loves butter as much as I do, trust me when I say that this cashewmilk based frozen dessert is every bit dreamy and delightful.  With a touch of fair-trade vanilla and pinch of sea salt (I added a pinch to crust as well – so good!), you might be tempted to eat it all straight from the container.  But don’t!  Together, this recipe is beyond easy to pull together and almost everything is better in layer cake form – aim I right?

Frozen raspberry cashewmilk cake - gluten, diary, and egg free.
Frozen raspberry cashewmilk cake - gluten, dairy, and egg free.
Frozen raspberry cashewmilk cake - gluten, dairy, and egg free.
Frozen raspberry cashewmilk cake - gluten, dairy, and egg free.

Frozen Raspberry Cashew Cheesecake
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
pinch sea salt
2 containers So Delicious Creamy Cashew Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert (500 ml each)
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon raw honey, maple syrup, or sweetener of choice

Remove the frozen dessert from the refrigerator to soften.  Set aside.

Place the walnuts, dates, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until finely chopped and the mixture begins to stick together.  Pack the mixture into the bottom of a 6-inch springform pan. 

Once the frozen dessert has softened a touch (you may microwave in increments of 10-15 seconds, if necessary), spread the contents of one container on top of the crust.  Place about ½ cup of fresh raspberries into the frozen dessert then top with the second container.  Use a piece of plastic wrap to press the top until smooth.  Cover and freeze.

Meanwhile, make the raspberry layers.  Puree 1 cup raspberries and sweetener of choice.  Remove the plastic wrap and spread the raspberry layer on top of the cashew layer.  Recover and freeze until solid

Before serving, removed the cake from the freezer.  Carefully run the edges of the pan under warm water then release the cake from the springform pan.  Top with the remaining raspberries and serve!

To help slice the cake, run the blade of a knife under hot water before cutting. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of So Delicious. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

Blackberry Ice Cream

Swirls of local blackberry sauce ripple through this cinnamon-scented ice cream.  A touch of mascarpone in the ice cream base makes it extra creamy and velvety!

Blackberry ice cream recipe with cinnamon and mascarpone

Today we celebrate my little fish by licking cones of homemade Blackberry Ice Cream!  Everett completed his first set of swim lessons at the old Vancouver Aquatic Centre, and this mommy could not be more proud.  Coincidently, this was his first ice cream cone too.  Cheers to you, big boy!

Blackberry ice cream recipe with cinnamon and mascarpone
Blackberry ice cream recipe with cinnamon and mascarpone

When I signed Everett up for swim class several months ago, I bet the parks department didn’t anticipate all the anxious thoughts that came flooding to my brain.  By the time this mommy remembered to sign up, every single class at the “nice” pool had an over-flowing waitlist and all that was left was a combo class at the oldest pool in town.  I was seriously kicking myself over this and couldn’t believe how far behind I was compared to all of the other “good moms."  How could I forget to sign up?  What else have we been missing out on?  It’s bad enough we never enrolled in baby sign language, and now my poor babe is stuck in the least-popular class in the whole city…

When I signed Everett up for swim class several months ago, I was hit with a wave of emotions.  If I sign him up now, will he be a world-class swimmer?  Will he hate every minute of it or will he want to head to the pool every day?  If we don’t sign up this year, will he ever stand a chance at becoming the next Michael Phelps (minus the drug use, of course)?  If we start too early, will he burn out and hate swimming all together one day?  Again, I bet the parks department didn’t anticipate all the anxious thoughts that came flooding to my brain just from filling out an entry form…

Being a parent is one crazy ride.  A majority of my days are filled wondering how my parenting skills today will affect his future.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on a first-time mom, let me tell you.  Like, if we don’t take swim lessons this summer, will he be afraid of the water his whole life?  Okay, I know that’s an extreme, but it does make you think.  What if it does come down to those early lessons in order for him to be on a collegiate team later in life?  I mean, those child prodigies must start their vocations around this age, right?  And if not a swimmer, I wonder what else my curious, creative, thoughtful boy will become?  Will he take after his father, grandpa, and great-grandpa and be interested in numbers and computers?  Will he want to be like daddy and start coding classes soon?  Or will he want to explore his creative side and pick up music or photography like Uncle Ryan?  He already pretends to cook with my in the kitchen, so I wonder if he could be a chef?  Or will he want to do something completely different from all of us and become a doctor or pilot or even a bear whisperer?  I look into his big, dark eyes and think, “the world is yours, baby boy.”

Blackberry ice cream recipe with cinnamon and mascarpone

Last week, this other mother tagged me in the most touching Instagram comment.  Posted below an image of a young girl holding a copy of my book, it read, “My daughter and I enjoy reading and dreaming through this book…Loving learning about baking and teaching my girl it’s never too late or too early to learn a new skill.”  Reading this quote brings tears to my eyes!  And you know what, she is absolutely right.  All this worry over what activities we sign our kids up for, or if they get on the wait-list for the top pre-school or not, or how one swim class at 18- months will look on their college application and I didn’t even start baking until I was 20, haha.  My own mother enrolled me in all of the right classes and I went to the best schools, but I didn’t event pick up a camera and set-forth on my current career until age 28.  And it’s not just me, Vera Wang didn’t design her first dress until she was 40 and Julia Child didn’t release her first cookbook until age 49!  Instead of worrying if the class I enrolled Everett in was the best/worst in town or if starting too early or too late will have a dramatic effect on his entire future, I should just focus on what inspired me to sign him up in the first place: for the experience.

When I look around at the other mothers and caregivers trying to change a wet baby out of a wet diaper in the family locker room, I know everyone else is there for the same reason.  We are all trying to do our best for our kids.  It might be the old, crappy pool and our kids probably won’t remember a thing from this summer, but damn it if we aren’t trying our best!  In no way is it "fun" for us moms to drag out littles down to the pool twice a week, convince them that the water is fun and safe, dunk them underwater against their will, then struggle to change our squirmy babies (and ourselves) into dry clothes and make it home in time for nap.  But every time Everett jumps off the edge of the pool into my arms or finds even just a second of peace during his dreadful backfloats, then I know it was a good idea that I signed him for swim lessons all those months ago….

Congrats to you, kiddo!  You did it!

On a side note, I’d LOVE for you all to take a few minutes to fill out this READER SURVEY.  It is super quick and easy, I promise!  This way, I can make sure that I am creating and sharing the kind of content YOU want to see.  Thank you!

 

Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe with cinnamon and mascarpone
slightly adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon corn starch
¼ cup mascarpone, softened
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
Blackberry sauce (recipe to follow)


In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 2 tablespoons milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the mascarpone, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla bean seeds.  Heat over medium-high and bring to a boil for about 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, practically fill a large mixing bowl with ice and water to create an ice bath.  Set aside.

Slowly temper in a small amount of the hot cream into the cornstarch mixture.  Add everything back to the saucepan and whisk to combine.  Place the saucepan back over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and bring back to a boil for about a minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Remove from the heat and gradually whisk the cream mixture into the mascarpone mixture.  Place the bowl over into the ice bath and refrigerate until cold.  Mean while, make the blackberry sauce (recipe to follow).

Once cold, pour into an ice cream machine and churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Once done, pack and layer in the ice cream with the blackberry sauce into a loaf pan or other freezer-safe container.  Cover with a piece of wax paper and freeze until solid.

 

Blackberry Sauce
1 ½ cups fresh blackberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar

 

Place the berries and sugars in a saucepan.  Heat over medium-high until the mixture registers about 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Place a mesh sieve over a mixing bowl.  Strain the seeds from the blackberry sauce and discard.  Refrigerate the sauce until cold.

Passion Fruit Popsicles with mascarpone and vanilla bean

Creamy, dreamy with a punch of tangy passion fruit.  These frozen pops are elevated with luscious mascarpone cream and vanilla bean simple syrup.  The swirls of passion fruit curd bring a taste of the tropics home to wherever you are staying this summer!

Frozen Passion Fruit Pops for popsicle week.

It's that time of year again.... It's #POPSICLEWEEK!   What better way to officially kick off summer!?

Popsicle Week is not only a time to eat delicious frozen pops, but it is also about community.  At least it is for me.  Hundreds (are there that many of us this year?) of food and dessert bloggers from around the globe dedicate a week to popsicles – each incorporating their own personalities and putting a unique twist on an original recipe.  In a world where I spend most of my days isolated at home either in front of a computer screen alone or just hanging with my toddler, popsicle week is always a great reminder of the amazing blogger community that I am blessed to be a part of. 

Passion Fruit Popsicles for popsicle week!

Starting in 2013, for a while I thought I was late to the blogging game.  Others before me had been writing, posting, and forming online friendships for 5, 8, even 10 years, and at first I felt a bit like an outsider.  I sat silently in front of my keyword board for months, but then started to reach out to others.  And you know what?  The more I engaged with others, the more they engaged back!  Funny how that works, hehe.

After a few months of living in Vancouver, I met up with the amazing Lyndsay of Coco Cake Land.  Finally, a “real life” blogger friend!  An awesome, generous (with her kindness, wit, and bloggy knowledge) one at that and a true reminder that behind all the pretty pictures and recipes there are real, living people who make, create, and are trying to share and be heard just like me.  In fact, it was Lyndsay who invited me to Popsicle Week 2014, and the rest is history….

But really, I am so lucky to have been able to e-meet so many other talented, generous food bloggers out there.  How you ask?  Just by saying “hello,” and starting the conversation.  I really must say that food bloggers (and I am sure other types of bloggers, too) are some of the kindest, most supportive people out there.  I felt this by the outpour of encouragement and enthusiasm when my book was released and the Online Release Party that I hosted.  Much more casually, I love how I can just tweet at a blogger pal about last minute pie advice and get prompt, real-life experience feedback.  So fun!

Passion Fruit Popsicles for popsicle week!

Be sure to check out ALL the blogger pops this week for Popsicle Week 2016!  BIG thanks to Billy for rounding us all up for another year of frozen fun =)

Passion Fruit Popsicle (non)Recipe
4 parts plain yogurt, strained
2 parts mascarpone, softened
vanilla bean simple syrup, to taste
1 to 2 parts passion fruit curd

Place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl and line it with a couple paper towels.  Add in plain yogurt (about 1 to 2 cups) and let the liquids strain out for about 4 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.  Once strained, discard the liquid and place the thickened yogurt in the bowl.

Meanwhile, place ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan.  Add the seeds of half a vanilla bean (and the pod) and heat over medium-high.  Once the mixture begins to simmer, lower the heat and allow the syrup to thicken for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Discard the vanilla bean pod.

Mix the softened mascarpone into the strained yogurt.  Sweeten the mixture with the cooled vanilla bean simple syrup (about 2 to 4 tablespoons).

Fold in the passion fruit curd and adjust according to taste – adding more curd or simple syrup as desired.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. 

To make six pops, start with about 2 cups yogurt, 1 cup mascarpone, and ¾ cup passion fruit curd.  Mold capacity will vary, hence the recipe written in ratios.
 

As a side note, if you have ever commented or emailed me and never received anything back, I am so sorry!  I try my best to respond to all comments and questions, but some slip through the cracks.  Feel free to say “hello” anytime! 

 

NOTES
The yogurt mixture and the curd freeze and thaw at different rates.  The more combined the mixtures are, the more enjoyable the pops are to eat.  If left to freeze with pockets of curds (instead of swirled it), the messier and drippier they tend to be as the curd melts.

Passion Fruit Popsicles