I know to many of you, sharing a popsicle recipe in September might seem silly, it seems everyone has already made the switch to fall foods, but we had some seriously hot weather out here in Southern California last week, it was in the 90s for several days in a row. Even in spite of that, I am not looking to rush summer off so quickly. I love it, we have plenty of months ahead to enjoy pumpkin recipes and hot soups, let’s enjoy this while we have it.
We are back down to more manageable temperatures this week, but I am sure we will get more of that heat again before we totally settle into fall, so treats like this will be perfect. A great way to enjoy what is fresh and in-season, but appropriate to the temperatures. In the midst of that heat I was still picking figs from our tree and although I have tons of baked goods and other delicious recipes for the figs lined up, I wasn’t in the mood for any of them. I wanted something light, cooling and sweet. I was able to roast the figs for this recipe early in the morning when it was still cool out, so it didn’t affect the temperature of the house too much, you could also roast them at night and place them into the fridge until the next day.
After the popsicles had set and were totally frozen, I ended up waiting until mid-afternooon the next day to enjoy one outside on the deck in the sun, during the hottest part of the day and it was heaven! These popsicles are so creamy and rich, the perfect amount of sweetness with a lovely robust and almost savory flavor from the balsamic roasted figs. You could also roast the figs with a red wine or liquor, such as Grand Marnier, Chartreuse, or Cointreau, you just might want to take down how much honey you add, though, so they aren’t too sweet.
Outside of these amazing popsicles, you can use the same recipe for the roasted figs and enjoy them over a bowl of yogurt and granola, over your favorite ice cream or alongside some goat cheese or a cheese plate. They would also make a great topping for roast pork. In the insanity of the heat, I totally forgot to snap a photo of the beautiful finished roasted figs, but I did grab a fleeting shot on my iPhone of them just before I put them into the oven. Figs really are just so beautiful and crazy looking.
Roasted Balsamic Fig Popsicles (Gluten-free & Dairy-free w/Vegan Option)
Makes 6 popsicles using using these molds
- 1 pound fresh figs, stems removed and halved (I used Black Mission figs)
- 4 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup) – divided into two
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 can full-fat organic coconut milk (I like this brand)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- dash of sea salt
Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Slice the small stem end off of the figs and slice each one in half lengthwise. Place the figs in a large glass baking dish cut side up and evenly pour over the balsamic vinegar, coconut sugar, honey, and the lemon zest, toss it all around so it gets evenly coated. Turn all of the figs so that they are all cut side down in the baking dish, in a single layer.
Roast them in the 400º oven, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through. When cooked through, remove the dish from the oven and allow the figs to cool completely. You can also cover the figs and place them in the fridge overnight to cool and finish making the popsicles the next day. The roasted figs will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Once cooled, pour the roasted figs, and all their juices into your blender. Add in the additional honey, coconut milk, vanilla extract and a dash of salt. Blend until totally smooth and creamy. I like to put this mixture into the fridge for just a bit until it is colder than room temperature, before I pour it into the molds.
Pour the mixture into your molds. Place into the freezer until totally frozen, usually at least 4 hours, or preferably just overnight. [/print_this]