Sweet Tea is a staple here in the south. It’s offered pretty much everywhere and it’s usually branded “southern style” which in some cases means so sweet it almost syrupy. I remember my mom telling me about my great-grandmother and the tea she used to make. My mom swears it was and still is the best tea she has ever had. My great-grandmother used to make Sun Tea. You pour water into a glass pitcher or container and add the tea bags and sit the pitcher in a nice sunny spot and watch the magic happen. Every ice cold glass was not complete until she dropped a few mint leaves in each glass which she grew right the bottom of her front porch steps. You can’t get more refreshing than that and you can’t beat memories like that either.
I enjoy iced tea a lot too, although to be honest I don’t really like a lot of the overly sweet versions that most place offer so I tend to go for unsweetened tea when I go out. I think one of the funniest experiences I had was ordering my food and when it came time to order my beverage I politely asked the lady behind the counter for “unsweetened tea, please” and I swear it seemed like the entire restaurant stopped and the girl behind the counter said “Did you say unsweetened?, Are you sure?”. It’s almost blasphemous to order unsweetened tea in the south. I however find it quite hilarious when I get that reaction. This of course means I have to keep ordering it.
I’ve been patiently awaiting the hot months so I can dust off the ice cream maker and get inspired to come up with some fun frozen treat recipes, and I’m thinking what better way to break it back in than making sweet tea in frozen form. And before you panic …IT IS NOT UNSWEETENED PEOPLE! It is definitely sweet, smooth and refreshing.
Sweet Tea Sorbet
3 cups water
2 family size tea bags
2 cups sugar
½ cup lemon juice
1 bunch fresh mint
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. As soon as water begins to boil, remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow tea to steep and turn dark amber color ( I prefer stronger tea, but if you don’t you can use one tea bag) about 30 minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of the brewed tea and set aside. Put the saucepan with the remaining tea back onto the stove and add the 2 cups sugar and bring to a boil for 1 minute making sure the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from the heat again and drop in the mint. Allow the mint to steep and the mixture to become completely cool.
- Strain and stir in the reserved 1 cup of brewed tea and the lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instruction. About 30-40 minutes.
- Scrape the mixture into a chilled container and freeze until hardened or until ready to serve.
I’m pretty sure this wont be the last no bake treat you see on this blog in the coming months. The temperature outside is starting to go up and that means that so is the temperature in my little apartment. If I had central AC it would be fine but at this moment I am making due with a little window unit in my bedroom that chugs and chugs away like the little engine that could to cool my apartment down.
No central AC …..How do you survive in this heat! I guess I just do…am I happy about it no especially since its just the beginning, we haven’t even gotten to the insane 100 degree weather of the summer, but you learn to make due. I was promised the issue would be resolved when I moved in and that was almost 2 years ago so at this particular point I’ve just accepted it and found other ways to try to beat the heat plus I’m hoping to move this year anyway. I’m guessing its one of those things that they just label “I’m working” on it and add it to a list of other stuff that their “working on”. But let’s just say I don’t really look forward to turning on my oven that much on those particularly hot days.
But on the bright side, it leaves me open to finding and sharing recipes that don’t require me to turn on the oven and do require me to get a little creative. I also figured out how I know I’m a hardcore baking addict ….when the heat gets bad it pretty much turns my little apartment into a giant proof box…. So it kind of makes me itch to bust out some bread recipes. Nuts, right!?
The ideas for these pops actually came from a drink recipe I was and still am working on. The flavor combo was so amazing together that I knew I wanted to do something else with these it. It finally clicked when I looked up and saw some popsicle molds that I had scored a while ago during one of my thrift store raids. I have been dying to use ever since I bought them, and what is better on a hot day than an ice pop.
Just as a side note let me mention that I am completely and totally in love with my ice pop molds now that I finally got a chance to use them. It might actually be dangerous because now I am constantly fighting the urge to make everything into ice pops just so I can use them (meatloaf ice pops …hmmm….probably not a good idea).
These Strawberry Coconut Margarita Ice Pops are everything you need for a cool refreshing treat, and the best part is that they are super easy to put together. You basically just dump everything into the blender, stir in a little vanilla, lime zest and a little coconut flakes (optional) freeze and devour!
Strawberry Coconut Margarita Pops
1 can Coconut milk (the full-fat sweetened kind a.k.a the good stuff)
½ cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 pint strawberries (washed, hulled and chopped)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest and juice of one lime
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)
1. In blender combine Coconut milk, Greek yogurt, sugar, honey, vanilla strawberries and lime juice and blend until smooth and combined.
2. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a large bowl. Stir in the lime zest, vanilla and coconut flakes (if using).
3. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher or large measuring cup, this makes it easier to pour the mixture into Popsicle molds and freeze for 4 to 6 hours but overnight is the best.
I actually have sort of sentimental feelings about summer. I don’t love the heat but I do love certain sights and sounds. It all sounds very cliché but I love things like the smell of fresh cut grass and seeing and hearing small kids playing outside all day until they poop their little selves out. The weather is nice and everyone wants to take advantage of it, so the city just seems livelier.
One of the best experiences of Summer is eating ice cream on extremely hot day and when you live in the south like I do the heat can get to be no joke. Although you can (and should) eat ice cream anytime of the year it’s just something special and refreshing about enjoying an ice cream cone a 95 degree day.
Now on to the recipe…..
Mango ice cream is not really a common ice cream flavor but I love this ice cream. To me a big ole bowl of this stuff is about as summer as you can get.
I was first introduced to this ice cream flavor when I was in school. It was something we used to make as part of the dessert menu for a little tiny restaurant inside the school that we had to run as a class for our grade. It was unexpected but this ice cream was huge hit! We would sell out just about every service. This isnt the exact recipe we used to use, sadly I kinda lost track of it in the many years since I graduated, but this recipe is just as great if not better. It is creamy, smooth and so refreshing.
Mango Ice Cream
(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
1 ½ cup Mango puree (about 2 very ripe mangoes)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
6 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
For mango puree, peel and chop mango and puree in food processor until smooth.
Warm 1 cup of the heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium low heat. Pour remaining cream in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top and set aside. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks.
Once the cream mixture is warmed through and the sugar is dissolved, slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks whisking constantly, then scrape back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees). Pour through strainer and stir into remaining cream and then stir in vanilla. Stir in mango puree and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Once the mixture is chilled churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
*For a tropical sundae throw some strawberry sauce, fresh chopped pineapple and some toasted coconut…and don’t forget the whip cream.