I love lemon bars. They may be my favorite dessert to bake, so it was only a matter of time before I tried to make them into ice pops:
Sweetened condensed milk, milk, lemon juice and graham crackers
I had two issues to work out in my translation — what ratios to use to make the pops work in the Zoku while still keeping the essence of lemon bars, and what to use as a stand-in for the crust.
As you can see from the photo, the crust part was easy; I just crushed up a graham cracker. The ratios were a little trickier. I ended up using 4 ounces of the sweetened condensed milk, 2 ounces of regular milk, plus the juice of one lemon (and a little bit of yellow food coloring to make them look more lemony). The base mixture ended up quite thick, but it was easily pourable, so I figured it would be ok.
Just as I did yesterday, I poured some base into the molds, then put in a layer of the graham cracker crumbs and filled the molds the rest of the way.
10 minutes later, and they were ready. I screwed the pop-release doohicky onto the first pop and turned it until this happened:
Whoops. Guess I should have used more milk.
I waited another minute before trying to extract the second pop, and it came out successfully, though it was still soft and unstable:
You can see I was too afraid to remove the pop-releaser before I took a photo.
My success with the second pop made me brave with the third one. Sadly, that bravery was unfounded:
I did, of course, eat the broken bits of pop, and they were delicious. They highlighted one of the big benefits to the Zoku — because it freezes pops so quickly, add-ins like cookies (and yesterday’s malt balls) don’t have time to absorb liquid and get soggy. So the graham crackers gave a nice counterpoint to the creamy and intensely-flavored base.
And luckily, I am confident that I will be able to re-create these pops one day with more success. It should be a simple matter of changing the condensed-to-regular milk ratio in the base mixture.
In the meantime, I am faced for the first time with the problem of having to thaw out my Zoku to clean it. I don’t know how long it will take to thaw sufficiently that cleaning is possible, but I’m guessing tomorrow’s pop is either going to be made late at night, or in a traditional ice-pop mold.