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Wednesday
Aug072013

Tomato and Watermelon Spicy Rocket Ice Pops

You have to be a grown-up robot to handle this cool blast of flavor! The inspiration comes from Mark Bittman's recipe for tomato jam, but with less salt and sugar, a yellow watermelon base, and no cooking. Plus watermelon. The result? Out of this world!

This very ice pop was approved this morning by Valonda Calloway or Mike Morse on My Carolina Today. (Only the Iron Giant knows whose prop he's got!) Watch the episode live at 11 EST Friday August 9th. I'll post the clip when it comes out.

homemade icepop made with tomatoes and watermelon held by the Iron Giant

Tomato-and-Watermelon Rocket Ice Pops

Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 2 hours and 15 minutes. Makes 18 ice pops.

Ingredients

This recipe makes a lot more than you need for six ice pops, but you can also use paper cups and wood Popsicle sticks or freeze it in ice-cube trays to pop out as mini-treats (or as palate cleansers between courses if you're on Space Station Ritz). I use molds shaped like rockets from Tovolo, which are easier to see in this recipe for Super-Food Rocket Ice Pops.

For the red layer

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (twice that for ginger lovers)
  • 1 3/4 pounds deep red, vine-ripened tomato chunks, such as Navaho Purple
  • 3/4 pound red watermelon chunks, such as Sugar Baby
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablepoon lime juice (juice from a small lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle or smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or smoked paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the yellow layer

  • 3/4 pound yellow watermelon chunks, such as Buttercup
  • 1 tablepoon lime juice (juice from a small lime)

Method

  1. Make the red layer first. Peel ginger and cut it crossways into thin slices. Start the blender and drop ginger in while the engine runs. Stop the blender after ginger quits bouncing around. Add remaining ingredients for the red layer and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour some of the mixture into pop maker, leaving room at the top for the "flames." Optionally, freeze pops at this point for about an hour to make sure the "flames" stay on the bottom of the rocket. In the picture above, the rocket is in flames at the top, no doubt because it is entering a planet's atmosphere.) If you have extra, process it in an ice-cream maker or freeze in ice-cube trays.
  2. Make the yellow layer by adding yellow watermelon and lime juice to the blender and processing until smooth. Taste and add sugar if desired. Spoon yellow mixture on top of frozen red mixture, then press top into place. Freeze ice pops upright until hard, about one hour if you froze the base or two hours if you didn't.
  3. To serve, hold ice-pop mold under running water for a few seconds to loosen it, then pull ice pop mold off base with handle.

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