Strawberries, Oranges, Cheesecake and Creamsicles...

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I had intended this July to be "ice cream month" with plans for new homemade ice cream recipes every weekend.  But after making the ice cream cake for my birthday, we had so much ice cream in the freezer, that I had to change my plans.  Those ice cream recipes will still be coming, but it may be August or September before I get to them, or our freezer will be simply overflowing with ice cream.

So instead I've been experimenting with small batches of popsicles, which are not only much quicker to make, but have built-in portion control (if you limit your portions to one popsicle a day, that is), instead of eating a big bowl of ice cream.  Or a massive slice of ice cream cake.



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Last year in May, I made strawberry orange creamsicles that surprisingly ended up becoming my 3rd most popular post on this site so far, and so I've been thinking about how to make a version of those that's even better.

The answer is cream cheese.

Cream cheese combined with whipping cream creates a beautiful, cheesecake filling that freezes delightfully smooth and creamy.  I adore cream cheese, and having a cold cheesecakey treat that I didn't have to bake on a hot summer day makes a lovely dessert.

For the strawberry cheesecake creamsicles, I added nothing more than a little sugar and vanilla, and for the orange cheesecake creamsicles, some fresh orange juice, orange zest, vanilla and a pinch of nutmeg.  I can't decide which is my favorite.



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For a lighter popsicle without the cream cheese or heavy cream, I made strawberry yogurt popsicles as well.  I used low-fat Greek yogurt, and in spite of the low fat content I was surprised at just how smooth and creamy these were, without the least bit of icyness.

I think the trick was that I started with frozen strawberries, and by pureeing those into the yogurt in my food processor, it seemed to mimic the work that an ice cream maker performs, of breaking down ice crystals while freezing a liquid.

The result was an ice-cream like texture, that when frozen into the molds, remained very smooth.  A little vanilla and honey gave them just the right amount of sweetness.

I hope you make some of these and enjoy them as much as we are!


One Year Ago:   Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie
Two Years AgoOreo Truffles and a Coffee Mishap




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Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles
printable

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (non-fat, 2% or whole - the higher the fat, the creamier the popsicle)
  • 8 frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

In a food processor, combine the yogurt, frozen strawberries, honey and vanilla.  Process until smooth, about 2-3 minutes, breaking up with a spoon if needed.  As the strawberries break down, they will blend into the mixture forming a smooth, creamy "ice cream".  Add a little milk if needed to loosen the mixture up a little.

Spoon into popsicle molds and insert a popsicle stick in each.  Freeze until solid.

To unmold, thaw at room temperature for 5 minutes, or run molds under warm water, then gently wiggle the sticks to loosen.

Yields about 8 popsicles.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen


Strawberry Cheesecake Creamsicles
printable

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla for several minutes until smooth.  Add the whipping cream and beat for another minute or two, until smooth and well combined, with no lumps.  Stir in the strawberries.

Spoon mixture into your popsicle molds; tap the molds firmly against the counter to settle the mixture and release any air bubbles, so you can fill them full.

Insert a popsicle stick and freeze until solid.

To unmold, thaw at room temperature for 5 minutes, or run molds under warm water, then gently wiggle the sticks to loosen.

Yields about 7-8 popsicles

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen





Orange Cheesecake Creamsicles
printable
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4-6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • zest and juice of 1 navel orange
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 navel oranges, peeled and segments separated, or 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained


Note:  The orange zest can range in bitterness, so adjust the amount of sugar to counteract the bitterness according to your own taste.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, orange zest and juice until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the whipping cream and beat with the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Fold in the orange segments.

Spoon mixture into your popsicle molds; tap the molds firmly against the counter to settle the mixture and release air bubbles so you can fill them full.

Insert a popsicle stick, and freeze until solid.

To unmold, thaw at room temperature for 5 minutes, or run molds under warm water, then gently wiggle the sticks to loosen.


Yields about 8 popsicles

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen