Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops

June 6, 2010

We recently enjoyed the first really balmy weekend of the season, and the girls were thrilled. It took them no time at all to rustle up some friends, break out the sprinkler and proceed to pummel each other with water guns. With all of the shrieking and bellowing going on, the neighbors probably wished for earplugs, but kids will be kids.

Late in the afternoon, the gaggle of water warriors heard the quintessential sound of summer: the tinny tinkle of The Little Red Wing. “Ice Cream Man!” they hooted, slamming the screen door behind them and hounding my husband for cash.

Notice that I said husband. There is good reason for this.

Reason 1: I never, ever, have cash on my person. Whenever I open my wallet, I always half expect moths to fly out of it, like in that wizard scene from Fantasia.

Reason 2: I am The Person in the House Who Says No.

If you want a Yes in my house, you go to Daddy.

Now of course, we couldn’t just give money to our own offspring. This was the first ice cream man encounter of the summer; you can’t just let other kids sit by and watch, long-faced, as Miss M. and Miss D. tuck into their Bomb Pops. We also couldn’t expect the other kids to, you know, run to their own homes and beg for bucks. Inconceivable!

Ten minutes and twenty three dollars later, we had some sticky-faced, happy customers.

And truly? I wouldn’t trade that first Bomb Pop of the summer for anything, even though that ice cream dude has a Helluva racket going on.

I decided that since summer was officially in swing, it was time to dig out the popsicle molds and get to work. The ice cream maker got a dusting off as well. It’s Official: The Frugal Ice Cream Mama is open for business.

Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops
from Cooking Light Magazine
makes 8

Watermelon Layer:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 cups packed cubed and seeded watermelon
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Lemon Layer:
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoons orange extract

To prepare watermelon layer, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook 30 seconds, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in mint; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a bowl.

Place watermelon in a blender; process until smooth. Strain puree through a sieve into bowl with mint syrup; press with the back of a spoon until extract juice. Discard solids. Stir in lime juice; cover and chill for 1 hour.

Pour about 2 1/2 tablespoons watermelon mixture into each of 8 ice pop molds. Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until almost set. Arrange 1 wooden stick into mixture, being careful not to push through the bottom of mold. Return to freezer. Freeze 1 hour or until frozen.

To prepare lemon layer, combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil; cook 30 seconds, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour into a bowl; stir in lemon juice, orange juice and extract. Cool 15 minutes; cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Remove molds from freezer. Pour about 3 tablespoons lemon mixture over frozen watermelon mixture in each mold. Freeze 2 hours or until completely frozen.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

M @ Betty Crapper June 6, 2010 at 6:40 am

Those are so pretty. I see myself buying popsicle molds soon. How young is too young to enjoy these?


Bryan June 6, 2010 at 6:53 am

Looks yummy! I hope this will be a summer staple at our house I will be giving it a try soon! "twenty three dollars later" cracked me up! Do you remember when a trip to the ice cream truck was 25 cents each? Oh my… I just became my father.


Phoo-D June 6, 2010 at 7:16 am

These sound fantastic! I love watermelon and mint (and you know my feelings about lemon!) Mr. B has been asking me to get a popsicle mold. Where did you find yours? I love the shape.


postmommy June 6, 2010 at 7:26 am

That does sound really good. And the pictures you include always make me want to try whatever it is you're posting about. Even the ceviche, and I don't eat fish. :p

I just recently tried out a recipe for basil-watermelon lemonade. I wonder if I could use that concept and your recipe to make a little different flavor of this!

(The lemonade was awesome, too, by the way).


Cheryl June 6, 2010 at 7:45 am

Delish! I might even attempt those, with my extremely limited culinary skillz..

Friday is the only day the kids are allowed to buy ice cream from the ice cream truck. And, like you, I never have cash, which is why it's important to be playing at the neighbor's house where there is ALWAYS cash, so my kids aren't deprived.

Oh – and I am totally NO and hubs is totally the YES man. That's a lot of fun, isn't it?


Lanita @ A Mother's Hood June 6, 2010 at 8:05 am

Thanks for another great idea! I have some awards for you over at my place. Come on over and pick them up if you want! Great blog!


Cathy June 6, 2010 at 8:21 am

Oooh sounds yummy and refreshing. Fuuny – in my house Dad is the "yes" man as well.


Fresh Local and Best June 6, 2010 at 9:10 am

These ice pops look better than anything the ice cream man can come up with, even if he has a helluva racket going on.


Barbara June 6, 2010 at 9:29 am

I am SO annoyed this wasn't around when my kids were small! We used to make little Kool-Aid popsicles in an ice cube tray with a toothpick in them. (shabby, I know)
Now there are more flavors in homemade popsicles than you can shake a popsicle stick at. And very sophisticated ones too! Your combination of watermelon with mint and lemon sounds very refreshing!


Lyndsey June 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

Wow those are so fancy…wohoo! Sure beats the ones my mom made in ice cube trays and toothpicks!


WhisperingWriter June 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Oo that looks refreshing.

I rarely have cash on me either.


BigLittleWolf June 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Yum. Allowed for short grownups and a sprinkler?


elizabeth June 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Those look absolutely gorgeous and I don't even LIKE watermelon. A few weekends ago we were traipsing across Central Park and I indulged in a frozen fruit bar from an Ice Cream Man (albeit not Mr. Softee), but these would have been SOOO much better. I think you should trademark the Frugal Ice Cream Mama posthaste, as I see an amazing blog/brand emerging from that.

There are no Rita's Water Ice shops near you yet, are there? Because those epitomize summer for me: going to the shop (usually a very bare-bones but clean operation) and getting a small cup of fruity water ice and shooting the shit for an hour or three with friends.

That brings to mind another idea–but I will save that for an email to you. Let's just say it's a potentially fun project for you and the girls to consider… :-)


~Laura June 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Wow! These look beautiful. I have been dying to make my own popsicles this summer. Even eyeing up those quick freeze molds in the WS catalog. However, this just sounded like a whole lot of work… Can you just be a dear and run one by here? Thanks, Kitch!


theUngourmet June 6, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Geez, the ice cream man does know how to work it! I love your layered ice pop! Great flavor combo!


Aging Mommy June 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Wow – $23 for one round of ice creams makes for a very expensive summer! Those ice pops looks beautiful and sound even more amazing than they look. As it is now over 100 degrees here every day I think I am going to have to try and make some and maybe even my fruit aversion afflicted daughter might just like them!


Heather B June 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I'm drooling just thinking about it! Gonna have to test these out with the boys this summer. And we've been considering getting an ice cream maker. So I'm anxious to see what the summer has in store for TKW recipes!!


Kelly June 6, 2010 at 10:03 pm

They sound like summer on a stick. I can't wait to try them with my kids this summer!


mo.stoneskin June 7, 2010 at 12:40 am

I'm a husband who never carries cash. So when it comes to ice-cream vans and parking meters, I'm not that useful at all.


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Camilla Baker June 7, 2010 at 2:49 am

If it wasn't so cold and rainy here I'd whip up a batch, enjoy your summer lady! x


Christine June 7, 2010 at 4:27 am

I NEVER have cash either. It can be quite limiting…except when I want to say no. However ice cream is so hard to say no to, well more for myself, LOL. And can't wait to try these. My 4 year would love them.


Lindy June 7, 2010 at 5:44 am

I need to buy the molds. I am so sick of those damn freeze-y pops and their wrappers being left EVERYWHERE.


Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts June 7, 2010 at 9:30 am

Lordy, I must make these. I'm headed to Vegas for work later this week. Could you ship me some to the hotel? They wouldn't melt en route, right??


ck June 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

That settles it. I'm coming to your place. We don't get an ice cream truck around here and I'm feeling gypped.

Those ice pops look delicious. I think I'll pull out the molds I bought last year after reading about your yogurt pops and bust out some summer magic.


Leslie June 7, 2010 at 11:50 am

I love popsicles as much as I did as a kid, though I've cooled to the ice-cream truck. Cheers to the first one of the year! Williams-Sonoma's Zoku Quick Pop Maker is tops on my frivolous kitchen wishlist right now. We enjoyed our first watermelon of the season yesterday, but oh, to have some frozen…


Leslie June 7, 2010 at 11:51 am

I love popsicles as much as I did as a kid, though I've cooled to the ice-cream truck. Cheers to the first one of the year! Williams-Sonoma's Zoku Quick Pop Maker is tops on my frivolous kitchen wishlist right now. We enjoyed our first watermelon of the season yesterday, but oh, to have some frozen…


Leslie June 7, 2010 at 11:56 am

I love popsicles as much as I did as a kid, though I've cooled to the ice-cream truck. Cheers to the first one of the year! Williams-Sonoma's Zoku Quick Pop Maker is tops on my frivolous kitchen wishlist right now. We enjoyed our first watermelon of the season yesterday, but oh, to have some frozen…


biz319 June 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm

The sound of the ice cream truck was like music to my ears – lifting up couch cushions and looking in every drawer possible to find enough change for the three of us to get something!

I'd take your popcicle over the ice cream truck any day!


girlichef June 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Oh yeah…like a scene directly out of my house! And our ice cream man…make that men, there's a couple…drive by daily. Oi vei. Luckily my kids would be happy with some popsicles like these. And so would I! :)


Nicki June 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm

YUMMY! And, I am surprised the ice cream man doesn't take plastic. LOL!


merrilymarylee June 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

These sound wonderful, even without kids in the house! I like the taste of watermelon but not the mess (something about being too lazy to pick out the seeds.)

With this recipe, problem solved.

Oh yeah, my husband is the GO-TO for our grandkids–not that I'm exactly a warden when it comes to treats.


Gretchen June 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Thanks for sharing the recipe. My daughter is always looking for something new to try. She'll be leaving for college at this time next year, so I want to make sure she has a recipe book filled with quick and easy items.


Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts June 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Oooh, must go purchase popsicle molds. I have to go to Vegas for work later this week, where I'm sure it will be 800 degrees. Could you make a batch and ship them to my hotel? They wouldn't melt in transit would they?


Ink June 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Those are sheer perfection. I can almost taste them just by reading the ingredients! yum!


Tiffany June 8, 2010 at 4:23 am

We bought ice cream from the truck the other day for our 3 plus 2 more and it was a fortune! I never have cash either…I've charged 0.65 before!! Happy Summer these sound delicious!!


suzicate June 8, 2010 at 7:15 am

Your ice pops sound and look much better than those on the ice cream truck! Lucky kids at your house!


Gibby June 8, 2010 at 8:31 am

YES!!!! And I grew mint this year!!!

(And is it only our ice cream truck man who has no teeth?)


Amber June 8, 2010 at 8:59 am

My kids do not yet know the ice cream man. I'm hoping this ignorance lasts. (Is that too much to ask?)

I think I might be the "No" person in our house, too. Hey, there is SOME power to it. muahahah


becca June 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

Yum. Mint with anything is the perfect ingredient for summer. So refreshing.

I wish I was the no person in our house. Actually, neither of us say no enough. Which is why we have two little kids who stare at us strangely when we do actually say no.


WizzyTheStick June 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm

watermelon and mint is always a winning combination


Terry June 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm

NO…what a concept.

Delicious looking ice pops. But that ice cream man WOW can't beat him


The Curious Cat June 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Sounds fantastic and very healthy in some ways – no artificial colouring etc xxx


The Curious Cat June 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

PS Alcoholic version?!


theycallmejane June 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm

And I'm so glad she is! There is nothing like popsicles and ice cream to celebrate summer. These sound so refreshing! Can't wait for your ice cream recipes. :)


Erin June 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

The watermelon & lemon combo is the best! I'm sure I'll be a frugal ice cream mama like you when the time comes… it's cheaper AND more fun!


Velva June 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Awesome! Like you, I never seem to have cash on my person either,

Great post!


Linda Pressman June 9, 2010 at 12:50 am

So are you going to buy a little white truck and play some jangly music while you drive up and down the streets selling these things? This looks great!


From the Kitchen June 9, 2010 at 2:20 am

Wow, the cost of ice cream truck treats has gone up–or you really did have a gaggle of kids! But the sweet sounds of summer, sticky hands and faces, laughing–they are grown up all too soon to not enjoy it wholeheartedly!! Looks like you are.



grace June 9, 2010 at 4:22 am

so pops is the push-over, eh? :)
speaking of pops, these are great–i love the layered affect and the flavors are sophisticated and enticing!


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