Sunday, May 30, 2010

Real Orange Creamsicles

Real Oranges + Real Raw Cream = Real Creamsicles

Back in the day, when I was but a wee lass, I remember the sheer joy of hearing the bells of the ice-cream bike. That's right, bike. What's with this ice-cream truck business? The ice-cream dealer in our hood drove a bike that said "Dickie Dee" on the side of it. There was a long rack of bells on the handles of his bike that swung back and forth wildly as he pedaled around the neighbourhood. He was the purveyor of summer happiness. A few cents could buy you all sorts of frozen delights, but I was always a sucker for the Creamsicle.

A few years ago, remembering how much I loved those yummy creamsicles, I decided to buy one - purely for nostalgia's sake. It was revolting. The 'cream' centre was some sort of gelatinous, hydrogenated oily mess. Blech. Another one of my childhood joys relegated to the cobwebby crevices of my memory.

Yesterday, after melting in the 32 degree weather for a few hours, the kids and I decided to attempt a healthier version of an orange creamsicle. We decided to make a real creamsicle with actual oranges and cream. I was pretty happy with the results, but there's a few things I'd modify next time around. I listed my modifications at the bottom of the recipe.
The Healthy Orange Creamsicle
  • Organic oranges
  • Best quality organic, cream (raw, from grass fed cows is best if you can get it)
  • Honey or maple syrup/maple butter to taste
  • Organic vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • (optional) Pastured, organic egg from a source you know and trust (it matters, you're going to eat it raw) 
Juice or blend some oranges. I used our Vitamix and threw in a little cream (maybe a tablespoon or so). My daughter then filtred the juice to get a smoother texture. I don't suppose you would have to do that, but it seemed somehow more authentic to me. Pour the juice into molds and put them in your freezer.
While the juice freezes along the perimeter of the mold, you can make the cream filling. For this, you can either make some of your favourite ice-cream or try what I did. I just blended the cream, turkey egg, vanilla, and some of the yummy maple butter we just got from our pal's maple syrup farm (thanks, Ben!) together in a blender. 
You will have to check the molds every half hour or so. The idea is to push the exposed parts down so the sides start to freeze, but you don't want the bottom (or top depending on how you look at it) to freeze over. When you see this happening, just push your finger into the centre to break up the frozen bits. Once the sides have frozen, you can pour the juice from the centre into a cup. You should now have an orange juice mold with a hollow centre.
Pour the cream mixture into the centre of the frozen popsicle, insert the stick,  and put back into the freezer. Wait. Patiently. Just wait. Goodness is on its way.
That's it, that's all there is to it. They were yummy and refreshing and way better than the hydrogenated oil ones they try to pass off as "cream-filled" in the store.

What I'll do differently next time:  I think I would actually use some of our homemade ice-cream. The cream centre worked well, but I found it dispersed into the orange a bit too much. I wanted the division between the centre and the orange border to be more distinct. If you try this option, be sure to use your own ice-cream or an organic version that isn't loaded with crapola. Lastly, I would not throw the oranges in the Vita-mix, opting instead to juice them. The bitterness of the pith seemed to amplify in the freezer. It wasn't a huge problem, but enough for me to try something different next time.

I'm thinking about trying mango and lime with my vanilla ice-cream next time. I think sour, citrus flavours would be especially good, but I will always remain loyal to the orange.

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