Truth: When it comes to desserts, icy treats are not usually my first pick. I'd much rather have warm cookies, rich cakes, or decadent brownies.
But if there's a book that will make you appreciate--if not even love--the humble popsicle, it is Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella, to whom I'm dedicating a post a day this week (and hosting a giveaway for her more recent release, A World of Cakes! Enter here!). The book was released a couple of years ago by Quirk Books, and it's very much worth checking out.
The first thing that intrigued me about this book? Castella's backstory with pops. It includes a love story!
It also includes plenty of useful information on "pop culture", such as how to order the chilly treats in a plethora of different languages:
...and this is before the actual recipe portion of the book even starts.
Castella's recipes are incredibly creative, ranging from decadent takes on the classic pudding pop to soda foundain-inspired classics to cocktail party friendly booze-based pops...even a section of healthy pops, for which she is forgiven.
But the one that caught my eye most of all was the Blueberry Cheesecake pop, complete with graham cracker crumb crust. Le yum! But why not adapt it a bit for the season--finding myself with some extra canned pumpkin, I made a quick swap for the top layer for a sort of pumpkin cheesecake pop, perfect for Thanksgiving week! Of course, for more, you can check out a preview of some of the recipes here. And of course, buy the book here. You won't regret it.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops
Adapted from Blueberry Cheesecake Pops from Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone
Makes six 8-ounce pops, or eight 6-ounce pops
Things you'll need: popsicle sticks, popsicle molds or paper cups
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- more nutmeg and cinnamon, if desired
- 10 graham crackers (or gingersnaps or other cookies of your choice)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 tablespoons sugar (per original recipe; I left this out)
- Make the topping. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin, cream, spices, and sugar until fully incorporated.
- Set aside.
- Make the cheesecake. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until well blended.In a separate bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until the cream starts to thicken, 1-2 minutes. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat for about 30 seconds. Add spices and stir once more. Set aside.
- Make the crust: in a blender or food processor, grind your graham crackers or cookies into crumbs. Transfer to a bowl; add the butter (melted) and mix until sticky and incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.
- Time to assemble. Pour the topping into each mold until it is one quarter full. Freeze for about an hour (original recipe suggests 2 hours, but I was impatient and it worked out ok).
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into each mold, leaving a half-inch at the top of each mold for the crust. Insert the stick. Freeze for 3 hours (once again, I did it for about 2 hours).
- Press the crust into the pop molds. If crust isn't sticking together, add a little water. Freeze for at least 4 hours (I did it overnight).
- Remove from freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing pops from molds.