Okay, so it’s Summer.
But I think the honeymoon’s already over. Sorry Summer.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m still into it. There’s so much about the season to be into. Parties and picnics and barbecues and day drinking and sunshine and long days and shorts and slip-on shoes and trips to Coney Island and fresh local produce. Glorious beautiful juicy ripe produce. Unbeatable unbelievable produce.
I’ve been so excited about the warmer weather and all the wonderful things that come along with it though, that I forgot about the things that I’m not so into. Unfortunately, now that Summer is upon us those unpleasant things refuse to be forgotten.
Sunburn and mosquitos and fruit flies and humidity and sweat stains and sleepless nights in sweaty sheets and days so hot that the plants just wilt against the force of the sun. To make matters worse, there’s something especially… yucky about this time of year when you spend it in New York City. Stale air and hot concrete and nights just as hot as days and stifling subway platforms and the smell of hot garbage on a Friday night. Ugh. So gross.
To help cure my hot weather woes, my red hot blues, I thought a fresh batch of ice pops was in order. Since I can’t actually live in the freezer, I figured that something sweet and icy straight out of the freezer would have to do.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s totally true. I invented these ice pops because it was necessary for me to not go outside in the heat for groceries. I had a tub of ricotta in the fridge that needed using up, and since lasagna isn’t exactly hot weather food, I thought I’d give ricotta ice pops a whirl. From there I thought that lemon, thyme, & honey would be the perfect complements to sweet and creamy frozen ricotta, and that buttermilk would be an ideal liquid to thin out and pair with all that yumminess.
These ice pops are wonderfully cool and refreshing, but beyond that, they also have an amazing unexpected flavor. I will admit that the ricotta does give them a slight sort of graininess, but I don’t find it at all unpleasant. Maybe it’s because they’re so creamy and taste so rich without feeling heavy. There’s something almost cheesecake-like about them, but they’re somehow lighter and more sophisticated. The lemon and thyme are the perfect, dare I Summery, complement to the subtle sweetness of the honey and the cultured dairy creaminess of the buttermilk and ricotta.
You better eat them fast though because they won’t be around for long in this heat!
Buttermilk Ricotta Ice Pops with Lemon, Thyme, & Honey
3/4 cup buttermilk
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, washed and stripped from stems
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
place all ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of carafe as needed. Carefully pour mixture into ice pop molds, filling almost to the top. Place cover or foil over molds and move them to the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove, add popsicle sticks to each pop, and return to freezer. This keeps the sticks from sinking too far or moving off kilter. Freeze for at least 3 hours more, or until completely solid.
Remove from pop molds by gently running under warm water for 10 or 15 seconds per mold.