As you might have guessed…yep, it’s still too hot to bake today Actually, let me clarify that. I got up early this morning to make cheesecake swirl blondies. But, they turned out more like a bland, thick cake with a cheesecake mess on top. Yuck. So, technically, it was too hot to bake again Oh, well. Sometimes failure leads you to better things. Things like root beer float popsicles. When I decided to make the cookies and cream popsicles the other day, this choice was a very close second. So, I decided to give these a try. After all, one of my family’s favorite beat the Chicago summer heat treats is a root beer float. My kids love it because it is one of the rare occasions that they get to indulge in a soda. They always mix it together immediately into a thick root beer float milkshake. Not me. I prefer to take a small scoop from the ice cream and fill the rest of the spoon with soda and then eat it, spoonful by spoonful. However you eat them, root beer floats are simply delicious.
Most recipes I see for root beer float pops are just root beer layered with vanilla ice cream. Good, but not great. How do you make them great? You make homemade vanilla custard to layer with the root beer. It is really easy and so worth the extra effort. Don’t worry about the egg yolks. Even if they do get a little bit scrambled, you can strain the custard and it will still be perfect. The only downside is that it does take some time because you have to freeze between each layer so they don’t all run together. And, though they would still taste delicious, and I know Jack and Sammie wouldn’t care, I would!
So, the next time you have a hankering for a root beer float, go on and ditch the mugs and make these fun pops instead.
Root Beer Float Popsicles
Yield: 12 to 14 pops
1 cup (8 fl oz/250mL) heavy cream
1 cup (8fl oz/250mL) whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup (3oz/90g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 cups (16 fl oz/500mL) root beer - Open at least 30 minutes before using. I used IBC
In a heavy saucepan over med-high heat, warm the cream and milk until the mixture just comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt until the mixture doubles in volume, 2 minutes. Slowly pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not boil. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and cool completely over an ice bath. I skipped the sieve since my custard mixture looked smooth.
If using conventional ice pop molds, fill the mold 1/4 full with the vanilla custard and freeze until partially frozen, about 30 minutes. Pour in the root beer, filling the molds until they are half full, and again, freeze until partially frozen, about 30 minutes. Pour in the remaining vanilla custard, filling until the molds are 3/4 full. I had custard left. If using sticks, insert them into the molds and freeze until almost completely solid, about 1 hour. Fill the molds with the remaining root beer. Cover and freeze until solid, at least 2.5 hours or up to 3 days. (It is not recommended to use carbonated beverages in instant ice pop makers like Zokus).