“Hey Boo! Boo! Check it out!”
Diane makes her way down the isle as I proudly hold up my find. A frozen bag of berries.
But not just any berry. Marionberries.
Here in the land of amazing farmers markets and with a garden teeming with fruit trees, herbs, and other delicious things, it isn’t too often that a frozen bag of anything gets us excited. But marionberries are special and are something which is nearly impossible to find in Southern California.
Sierra helping pick mint for the mojito pops. Well, kinda helping.
They belong to the Pacific Northwest. Land of oysters, mussels, craft beer, and incredible berries. Drive through the west side of Oregon and Washington and you’ll find brambles of blackberries inundating the land. Many view them as a weed. An incredibly delicious weed, but a pain in the ass nonetheless.
You’ll even find them growing over the fence at the highway rest stops. Just make sure you pick the ones that are higher than dog leg lift height.
Amongst the masses of blackberry varieties, marionberries reign king. Described as the cabernet of blackberries, they have a deep rich flavor. All the normal blackberry traits, a touch of tart balanced by their berry sweetness, but in the same way Cabernets have a deep complexity to the taste, so do marionberries.
Now that I had found them, what to do with these little gems?
I’ve been slightly ice pop fixated since making the Bi Rite Creamery Blood Orange pops, and since I have been wanting to come up with an adult popsicle, (with alcohol, gutter minded people!) it didn’t take long to figure out what I wanted to make with the marionberries. Especially with the mint going to town in the garden. Marionberry Mojito Ice Pops.
I figured I would make a batch or two with the berries, then move on to something else. Maybe a marionberry crumb or crisp, but after the first test batch I knew this whole bag was spoken for. The ice pops were really, really, really good.
The last two weeks we’ve shared them at our food photography workshops, leaving everyone happily purple tongued. And everyone managed to eat them without staining their white shirts.
P.S. A huge thanks to everyone who attended our recent food photography workshops at our studio over the past couple weeks. Such great people. It was an immense pleasure to share the weekend and our knowledge with wonderful people like you. And to share our ice pops with you!
Blackberry Mojito Ice Pop Recipe
Yield: Ten 2.5 ounce Pops
Total Time: 4 hours 30 Minutes
If you can find marionberries, the pops will be extraordinary, but even with regular blackberries they are incredibly good. These are adult pops. We've yet to adjust the recipe to make a zero proof ice pop, but if you want to go that route, we would start by replacing the rum with water, then increasing the lime juice or simple syrup if necessary.
- 12 ounces (340 g or about 1 1/2 cups) Blackberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh Lime Juice
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Rum
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Water
- 3/4 cup (180ml) 2:1 Simple Syrup (2 parts sugar:1 part water)
- Several hearty dashes of Bitters of your choice (we usually use orange bitters)
- 20-25 Lrg Mint Leaves
- If using wooden ice pop sticks, soak sticks for an hour in warm water before making pops (helps keep them from floating up when inserted into molds.)
- If using frozen berries, place them in a blender, food processor, or in a bowl using an immersion blender. Allow to sit at room temperature until thawed.
- Combine all of the rest of the ingredients with the thawed blackberries. Pulse until the mint is fairly well chopped up.
- Taste for sweetness and add more simple syrup if necessary (it should be a touch too sweet as it will lose sweetness after freezing.)
- Pour ice pop base into molds and insert sticks. Freeze for about 4 hours or until completely solid.
- Unmold before serving (run warm water around mold if necessary to help it release.)
If you are the seed free - no-pulp type of person, strain the mix through a fine mesh sieve before pouring into molds.