November 07, 2013

Basil-Infused Longan-Lime Popsicles

As I dealt with snow issues at work this week in South Dakota, I was reminded of just how different the climate is here in South Florida.  For my old CSA in Wisconsin, it's week 20 and members are receiving their final summer share this week.  Here in Miami, it's week 1 and the CSA season doesn't end until late May.

Highs are still in the 80s, so I was excited to try a popsicle recipe provided by my new CSA, which utilized both basil and longan fruit from my week 1 box.

As you can see below, Chianti and I were both excited to check out our first Florida CSA box.  Inside, we found arugula, basil, salad mix, tarragon, leeks, lemongrass, cucumbers, turnips and my favorite eyeball fruit - longan.

My CSA's description of longan having the look of peeled grapes is probably more appetizing than my eyeball description :)  A storage tip I wasn't aware of until I read the CSA newsletter is that longan fruit can be stored in the freezer, whole with the peel on, which is handy.

I've only attempted popsicles once before and it was a failure, which is embarrassing considering that popsicles are pretty dang easy to make.  This popsicle how-to-guide from Epicurious was really helpful this time around.

Two things I did wrong last time were attempting to insert the sticks immediately after filling the molds (you need to wait 2 hours) and running the molds under water for too long which caused the sticks to come out of the popsicles.  My popsicle mold is from Progressive and now that I understand how to make popsicles, I'd recommend it :)

This was my first time attempting to photograph popsicles, since my last batch was a disaster, and I discovered it's not easy.  My popsicles were melting really quickly because I was too anxious to eat a popsicle to take Epicurious' advice on a second freezing which helps with that issue.

I love the flavor of these popsicles, which taste predominantly like lime with a hint of basil and a delicious sweetness from the longan fruit.  With year-round warm temps I anticipate many popsicle flavor variations in my future.

Basil-Infused Longan-Lime Popsicles 
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (6 popsicles)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 lbs longan
  • 1 lime (juice & zest)
  • In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar and basil leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  • Pour basil syrup through fine-mesh sieve into a blender. Discard basil. Add longans, lime zest and juice and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for 2 hours, then insert sticks and continue freezing overnight.
  • The next day, run the molds until warm water for 20 seconds or so until the popsicles can be removed. Transfer popsicles to plastic bags or a plastic container layered with wax paper and freeze again for at least 30 minutes. Store for up to one month.
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  1. It is weird to think that you're making popsicles and just starting your CSA while we experienced driving in snow on the way home from the gym tonight. :) Oh how I wish we were living in Florida instead of here.

  2. I am with Lisa--this is just hard to comprehend! But the fruit looks much better in here than as "eyeballs"