I always get odd stares when I tell people that I don’t have a really big sweet tooth. “You’re a pastry chef, though!” As if a profession must dictate personal preferences…what does that mean for morticians? I don’t think they’d prefer to be dead, do you? I’m not a fan of overly sweet dishes, so this Cucumber, Mint and Lime Popsicle is the perfect summer (or any time) treat for me.
To me, popsicles are the perfect dessert for parenthood. Pastry chefs get tired of making extravagant desserts, we’re not superheroes- even though we kind of are. While I like having something sweet to offer my family, a cheesecake just gets to be too much of a hassle some days. Popsicles are the best alternative. You puree fresh fruits (in this case vegetables as well) and pour it into molds to be frozen and later enjoyed by everyone. It’s a total win-win.
This cucumber, mint and lime popsicle is one of my favorite recipes because I like that I can get a hit of sugar from the popsicle without the overkill of sweetness. Cucumber and mint are a perfect, and refreshing, combination. The addition of lime adds a crispness that cleanses the palate. The flavors together make this popsicle a perfect way to cool off during the hot summer months without it being too heavy. I’ve also served this as a between-course palate cleanser- almost like a hip sorbet. Can sorbets be hip? This one totally is, ya dig?
I use english cucumbers exclusively when cooking or baking. Not to be a snob, but the common cucumber used in most home kitchens just tastes too bitter for my liking. I find that english cucumbers are sweeter and have a stronger cucumbery (that’s totally not a word) flavor. For me, the cost difference is justified by the taste. Using a common cucumber won’t affect the end product here, though. The skin of the cucumber is peeled to avoid any trace of bitterness; feel free to use whichever variety you can get your hands on.
I recommend using Persian limes (the most common lime found in U.S. supermarkets) for this recipe. Key limes tend to be more bitter. Not only that, their small size always means more work to yield the same amount of juice.
Spearmint is the best, sweetest mint to use in this recipe. Bowles mint is commonly used in the UK; it’s also a great mint to make of use of here. If you can’t find either, peppermint is an good alternative.
This popsicle would be an excellent addition to your next BBQ, block party or, as I’m going to use it, a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Pin the recipe for later and share the link with your friends!
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Cucumber, Mint & Lime Popsicles
Yield 1 dozen
Peeling the skin of the cucumber helps to rid the popsicle of any bitterness. Be sure to use Persian limes and not the key lime variety.
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes)
1/2 cup simple syrup*
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
In a blender combine the cucumber slices, lime juice, simple syrup and salt. Blend until smooth.
Add the mint leaves and pulse until finely chopped. You want to avoid blending the mint leaves too much or you'll have a murky-looking popsicle.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, insert popsicle sticks into the molds and allow to freeze for an additional 7 1/2 hours (or overnight).
Unmold* and enjoy!
Simple Syrup Recipe:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
In a small pot, combine the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve slightly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool completely before use.
*Some molds release the popsicles easier than others. My foolproof way to get mine out is to running really hot water over the inverted popsicle mold, turn it right side up and unmold quickly. I run hot water over them again if they fail to release easily.
Also, check out these other popsicle recipes!