These tropical fruit popsicles are easy homemade ice pops made with just three natural ingredients—fruit, sugar, and water. Use watermelon, papaya, or mango for the simple taste of summer.
Tropical Fruit Popsicles
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 4 H
- Makes 12 popsicles
Special Equipment: Ice cream maker; 12 plastic or paper cups; 12 popsicle sticks (optional)
If making popsicles as opposed to sorbet, place twelve 1/3-cup plastic or paper cups on a baking sheet and place in the freezer.
Warm the water and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook until a light syrup forms, about 5 minutes.
Pour the syrup into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
Dump the fruit in a blender and purée until smooth. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Strain the purée through a sieve to remove any seeds or large lumps.
Mix the purée with the cooled syrup and stir in the lime juice. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
If using an ice cream maker, pour the purée into your ice cream maker (you may have enough to make 2 batches) and process for 30 to 40 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can skip this step if you’re just making popsicles.
If making popsicles, spoon the churned sorbet or the unchurned mixture into the chilled cups and insert a Popsicle stick in the center either now if you churned it or after 2 hours if you didn’t churn it. To serve, hold the cup between the palms of your hands for 30 seconds, then gently ease the cup away from the Popsicle. To store, place the Popsicles in freezer-safe resealable plastic bags.
If making sorbet, once the sorbet is thick, serve it immediately in dishes or even cocktail glasses or transfer to a resealable container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze for 2 hours or so to harden slightly.
The popsicles–or the sorbet-is best the same day although it will keep for up to 2 weeks in the freezer.) Originally published July 11, 2013.
Recipe Testers' Tips
This tropical fruit sorbet is extremely refreshing and not too sweet—perfect for the 90°+ days we’re having.
I used 1/4 large watermelon, which weighed exactly 4 pounds before the rind was removed. After pureeing and combining the strained puree with the lime juice and simple syrup, I had enough liquid to fill the 2 containers of my Cuisinart ice cream machine; therefore, I had to churn twice and ended up with just under 2 quarts sorbet.
My tasters really liked this sorbet and I’ll definitely be making it again.
For those out there without an ice cream maker, don’t shy away from this recipe. I followed all of the steps for the popsicles and poured the final cooled liquid into each cup and placed it in the freezer. Two hours later I added the sticks, and it worked beautifully. Kids and adults alike loved them.
We made 2 batches, one with watermelon (which was small to medium size) and one with mango. Both were excellent but noticed that the mango version was sweeter than the watermelon.
This was a refreshing treat. It was easy to assemble and it froze nicely.
I measured all the liquid ingredients: 4 cups watermelon juice after being strained, 1 2/3 cups simple syrup, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. After freezing it for over 24 hours, it produced a tasty, icy pop. I’d hoped for a more concentrated flavor, but for the small effort and few ingredients, it turned out nicely. I think next time I’ll infuse the syrup with basil or rosemary or something like that.