Cantaloupe popsicles are an amazing way to cool down on a summer afternoon. Not too heavy but still rich in flavor, they’re darn near perfection.
When making these cantaloupe popsicles, choose a sweetly fragrant cantaloupe melon that seems heavy for its size. It’s great with just lemon or lime, although adding fresh basil (see Variations below) adds complexity of flavor.–Cesar and Nadia Roden
LC Cantaloupe Crazed Note
“I LOVE these cantaloupe popsicles!” “Who needs ice cream with popsicles that taste this good?” “Love these and will definitely make them again!” That’s what folks are saying about these cantaloupe popsicles, which are a dazzling display of unfettered cantaloupe-ness. The freshest local melon from your local farmers’ market will, quite obviously, be divine when made into popsicles, although, with its squeeze of citrus and a modest amount of sugar, this recipe is incredibly forgiving and also the perfect destination for those melons that are a little disappointingly bland or dangerously teetering on the brink of being overripe.
- Popsicle molds
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 pounds (from 1 small melon) cantaloupe melon chunks
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
- Dump the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook just until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
- Put the cantaloupe chunks in a food processor and blend it into a smooth purée. Add the cooled mixture and lime or lemon juice and blend again.
- Pour the syrup mixture into your popsicle molds, leaving 1/4 inch space at the top of each mold to allow the mixture to expand when it freezes. Insert a popsicle stick into the molds and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
Cantaloupe Popsicles VariationsFresh Herb & Cantaloupe Popsicles Add 15 leaves basil, mint, or tarragon to the water and sugar in the pan at the very beginning of the recipe. Remove the leaves after the sugar syrup has cooled to room temperature, squeezing them to extract as much liquid as possible. Ginger & Cantaloupe Popsicles Add 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger to the water and sugar in the pan at the very beginning of the recipe. (Be sure to peel and finely grate the ginger over a small bowl to catch any juice. Then dump the grated ginger and any juice into the pan.) Strain the mixture after the sugar syrup has cooled to room temperature, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Boozy Cantaloupe Popsicles Melon is also nice with a splash of booze. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons port to the food processor along with the other ingredients.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I LOVE this cantaloupe popsicles recipe! Who needs ice cream with popsicles that taste this good? These cantaloupe popsicles have a creamy and almost sorbet-like quality to them, like an orange creamsicle without the cream or extra calories! I only made half the recipe so cut all the measurements in half. I blended the cantaloupe in my blender and added the simple syrup and lemon juice. I then tasted the final mixture before putting into the freezer, and it had the consistency and taste of a cantaloupe smoothie. I actually just froze this in ice cube trays with cut wooden skewers for the handles since I didn’t have ice pop molds on hand. I like the smaller little ice cube-size treats as they’re the perfect size to take the edge off a summer sweet-tooth craving. The ice cubes froze within 2 hours, and the little bit of sugar and lemon juice brought out the cantaloupe flavor without being overly sweet. Love these and will definitely make them again!
I should preface all of this by saying that whether or not you will like these cantaloupe popsicles depends entirely on how much you like cantaloupe. If you aren’t a melon fan, save yourself the time and energy and find a different fresh summery thing to make because while these are good, they do not have magical wooing-people-over powers. I bought pre-cut cantaloupe because it’s hard to find in-season fruits in Alaska for a reasonable price. The pre-cut means it just went straight into the food processor and was fast. I like the juxtaposition of the basil and the cantaloupe and think the balance in the recipe is solid. I also tried the port version. My testers noticed that the cantaloupe and port separated, creating a layer about 1/3 of the way from the top. The top portion that was more port and a thinner consistency, which they liked that better. You could probably obtain a better blended/thinner effect by running the food processed melon through a thinner sieve, keeping the liquid and less of the solids. The less melon-like consistency might stay better blended. Regardless, the sweetness was a good level.
Originally published August 04, 2015