Popsicles (known here as artikim) are a national obsession, delivering a refreshing blast chill when the temperatures spike from hot to hades. From the cheap, delicious, artificially flavored ices you can buy along the beach to Mexican-style paletas, which come in a million gourmet flavors, it’s easy to get a frozen/sweet fix on a stick. To show off the gorgeous fruit in season, I based these pops around thick, juicy slices of figs. I slide them into popsicle molds, then tip a tart, honey-sweetened yogurt mixture around them before freezing. If you can, try to arrange your pops so the figs remain visible (see instructions in recipe), but no matter how you build them, they’re delicious. The tahini magic shell really is two-ingredient heaven; dip once and you’ve got a semi-translucent sesame slick that hardens on contact with the pops; dip twice for a thicker layer. I make a generous amount of the magic shell because it makes dipping the pops easier; you can refrigerate any leftover shell, then gently rewarm it in the microwave. If you want to halve it, you’ll just have to tip and swirl the pops around to coat them.
LISTEN: Invigorating Israeli Cooking with recipe author Adeena Susman
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
Generous pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 or 3 large, plump fresh figs
TAHINI MAGIC SHELL
1 cup pure tahini paste
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
Make and freeze the pops: In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, cardamom, and salt. Take a look at your popsicle molds and gauge how thick you need to slice your figs; you want to be able to slide the figs into the molds so they are fairly tightly wedged in place (this will mean you’ll see fig after they’re frozen). Slide 1 large or 2 smaller fig slices into the molds, then press a wooden popsicle stick through the figs down into the bottom of the molds. Pour the yogurt mixture around the figs, moving the figs slightly with your fingers and tapping the molds against the counter to allow the yogurt to fill any gaps and air pockets. Freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours (or if you have an instant popsicle maker, by all means use that).
Make the magic shell and finish the pops: Once the pops are frozen, combine the tahini and coconut oil until smooth in a glass that can fit the popsicle without it touching its sides. Line a plate with wax paper and place it in the freezer. Loosen the pops by letting them sit out for 5 minutes, or run the outside of the molds carefully under warm water in 15-second increments until they release. Dip each pop in the tahini mixture, pull it out, and let the excess mixture drip off. If desired, dip again; the mixture should harden almost immediately. Place each pop on the wax paper–lined plate as they’re done. Freeze for a few minutes before serving, or wrap each pop in wax paper, then in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer for up to 1 week.
From Sababa by Adeena Sussman, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Adeena Sussman.
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