Cherries are my main squeeze right now when it comes to fruit. Sorry, berries. Sorry, apricots. Plums, it’ll be you in a month or so. Peaches, I’m coming for ya, too! But for now, I’m craving cherries so much that I’m willing to stain my fingertips red as I pit more than a pound of them in the name of popsicles. Popsicles! Because it is so steamy outside right now, and we are in dire need of a refreshing treat. But it will have to get a bit hotter before it gets cold. For these popsicles, I’ve coated the cherries in a splash of balsamic til they’re shiny and then popped them in the oven for 20 minutes to maximize flavor. The balsamic and a bit of hot hot heat deepen the flavor of the bing cherries.
The cherries, once intensified and cooled, head to the food processor before getting swirled together with coconut cream. Have you tried coconut cream? I had plans for coconut milk (which you can still use here) but stumbled on a can of thicker and richer coconut cream at Trader Joe’s and decided a creamier version would be great in a pop. It kind of has the consistency of thick Greek yogurt. Coconut cream brings a lot to the resulting pops in terms of texture.
There will be more pops to come from my kitchen this summer! But for now…
It’s Popsicle Week! Billy of Wit and Vinegar came up with the brilliant idea for Popsicle Week, and this is the third year he’s hosted it. On Billy’s Popsicle Week landing page, you’ll find more than 100 recipes (!!!) from food bloggers participating this year. The incredible popsicle flavors started popping up on Monday (a birthday treat for me) and will keep coming through Friday. Still want more? Keep scrolling on that roundup page. Billy has a list of pops from the last couple of years, too. My contributions to previous Popsicle Weeks: Smoked Peaches and Cream Pops and Plum, Basil and Yogurt Pops. You can also follow along on Instagram and Twitter with #PopsicleWeek.
roasted cherry and coconut pops
Roasting the cherries is an important step because it concentrates their flavor. They get tossed in a little balsamic vinegar, too, which just makes them taste more intensely of cherry. Coconut cream, which is thicker than coconut milk, is what I stumbled upon and used here for its richness but you can use coconut milk (or heavy cream). To pit cherries, remove stem from cherry and use paring knife to cut cherry in half starting from where the stem was. Twist the sides of the cherry to halve. Use your finger (not the knife) to dig out the pit.
Makes 10 pops.
1 1/2 pounds fresh cherries, stems removed and pitted
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
14 ounces coconut cream (or coconut milk, which may mean you need a bit less)
1/4 cup honey
Heat oven to 375°F. Place halved and pitted cherries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss cherries with balsamic vinegar, and then spread them out on the baking sheet. Place cherries on a center rack in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Let cool. Scoop cherries with all their juices into the bowl of a food processor. Add honey and pulse to combine until mixture is mostly smooth and even in texture.
Pour cherry puree into a small pitcher or measuring cup with a spout. Drain coconut cream (there will be some liquid at the bottom of the can) and transfer to a bowl so you can lightly whip it with a spoon. Swirl in the coconut cream with the cherry mixture. You don’t want to mix it completely if you care about pretty color variations in the pops. Pour mixture into your popsicle mold, leaving some room at the top for the pop to expand as it freezes. Place in the freezer. After 1 hour, insert the popsicle sticks about two-thirds of the way into each pop. Let freeze for another 4 hours, or preferably overnight. To remove pops from mold, run the mold under water for about 10 seconds and then pull from the popsicle stick until the pop slides out.