Citrus season on Burgeson Family Farm always starts with the lime harvest. Before the very hot summers have faded to the crisp days of autumn we treat ourselves to cool lime-centric drinks on the porch in the evening: gin and tonic, greyhound and margarita cocktails and sparkling water on ice with generous wedges of lime plucked from the tree just minutes before. When I walk by the trees, laden with fruit, it is almost impossible for me to resist grabbing a lime, scratching the aromatic rind and inhaling the intoxicating aroma.
Limes on the trees at Burgeson Family Farm. Note the bees are at work pollinating a new crop which will be ready in the spring. It is uncommon for us to have 2 crops in one year but it looks like it will happen this year.
This is the pop recipe that “started it all”, the pop obsession in our family. Lime pops are so cool, creamy and tart; it takes only 3 ingredients and minutes to make the mix, and to me they are more satisfying and delicious than a key lime pie. This recipe will work with any limes, either the small little Key limes with their intense acidity and aroma and multitude of tiny seeds, or the big juicy seedless Bearss limes, or even store bought supermarket Mexican limes. We have also made this recipe with lemons which make a kind of frozen lemon meringue pie pop.
Key limes on the left and Bearss limes on the right
(Many people think that only key limes are yellow but all limes will turn more yellow when they are very ripe. Note the Bearrs limes are actually more yellow than the Key limes.)
If there is a farmer in your area growing limes, I urge you to buy some at least once to make this, or your cocktails, with them. Most of the limes in the grocery stores are shipped from Mexico, and they are far from freshly picked. The oils in the zest of a freshly picked lime add so much to the flavor of this recipe. You may want to keep one on hand to “scratch and sniff” for a pick me up.
3 Ingredient Creamy Lime Pop Recipe
For this recipe you need only 3 ingredients:
Limes (4-5 large ones or about 10-14 small ones)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces) (I use organic)
1 ½ cups of non-fat Greek yogurt (I use organic, usually either Straus, Clover or Wallaby because I have actually seen their farms and “happy cows” as I travel about Northern California)
(Note, if you want a creamier, more decadent pop, you can replace some, or all of the Greek yogurt with softly whipped cream. Now you really have an ice cream bar!)
Finely zest the rind from the limes. I love this little tool, a microplane grater, for making a very fine zest:
You should have 2 Tablespoons of zest. Note the beautiful fine zest this tool makes.
Squeeze the juice from enough limes to make ½ cup. This handy citrus juicer makes that task a breeze.
Put the juice and zest in a bowl. Stir in the condensed milk. Add the Nonfat Greek yogurt and/or whipped cream and mix well. I use a hand whisk. You can also whip it in a blender which will make the mixture fluffy and the pops will be more light and creamy once frozen.
(I like to mix it in a measuring cup with a pour spout for easy pouring into the molds).
Note: These are high in protein and low in fat (see the analysis below). If you would like the recipe to be even higher in protein and lower in sugar and fat, you can add more of the Greek yogurt. That can be done according to your taste, as it will make them tart. They also will be a bit less creamy.
Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds. This recipe will make 10 popsicles of about 1/2 cup each.
If you don’t have molds you can use small paper cups, but I urge you to consider buying some popsicle molds. They are the most used piece of kitchen equipment we have purchased in a long time.
Put the popsicle sticks in the molds.
Don’t shove the sticks all the way to the bottom. That will leave a short stick for eating. The mixture should be thick enough to suspend the sticks at the right depth. If not, freeze for awhile and then insert the sticks about halfway into the molds.
Now put the molds in a flat spot in your freezer and patiently wait for at least 4-6 hours for them to freeze completely all the way through. The sticks must be completely frozen in the middle of the pop.
To remove the popsicles from the molds put some very hot water in a glass. (I heat the water in the glass for a minute or two in the microwave). Dip the pop in the hot water for 10-20 seconds or so, until it slightly releases from the sides of the mold. Now squeeze the mold a bit to loosen the pop, hold the pop with the handle facing down and slide it out of the mold. If it does not come out easily, do not pull too hard on the stick or it might come out of the pop. Instead, heat it in the water again until it releases easily.
You can refreeze the pops on a tray until they are very hard, so they don’t stick together, then store them in a container or plastic bag in the freezer. They theoretically will last a long time, but practically speaking, it is doubtful they will be around all that long. They are that good.
Creamy Lime Pops
Nutrition Analysis per Pop (Makes 10):
152 calories, 6 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat,
© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.