**Note: Sorry about the staged picture! I didn’t think to take one before we took them out to the lake. When I make these again I’ll take a better one.**
I use Google Reader to aggregate all of my blog posts (I read a lot of blogs). A lot of times I’m just skimming through the headings, I don’t “click through”. Plus because there are so many (I can’t help it, I’m like a blog collector or something) I don’t get to spend as much time reading each post as I want to.
So Friday I’m skimming, looking, reading *screeching halt* Chow.com did what?
HALO HALO POPSICLES!!!
For those not in the know – halo halo literally means “mix mix” and it could be considered the Philippines’ national dessert. Usually at the bottom of the glass or bowl, there’s a halo halo mix consisting of coconut jell, jackfruit, sweetened beans (the red mung beans are my personal favorite), and whatever else. The filling can be extremely varied – I’ve seen it with sweet corn, mango, pineapple, plantains, custard, etc.
Shaved ice is packed on top, then it’s covered in evaporated milk and (in my family anyway) we like to sprinkle a bit of sugar on it. If you eat it out at a restaurant it can often be topped with various ice creams like ube (although I’ve always preferred the cheese ice cream).
One of my earliest memories of the Philippines (I think maybe I was three or four) is my mom taking me through the market (the indoor part) which if you’ve ever been can be an almost confusing maze, filled with twists and turns all lit by fluorescent bulbs even in the middle of the day. I’m not sure what we were there for, whether we were picking up something or just shopping, but we stopped at a small stall and my mother picked me up and sat me on a wooden stool. What was placed in front of me? Halo halo and it was wonderfully delicious.
When we got back to the States I must have asked for it or my mom might have wanted it, but I can remember her using an old school metal ice scraper that required a lot of muscle (that thing was intense). At that age I couldn’t help, instead I sat impatiently at the kitchen table as my mom struggled with the ice scraper. So I have a lot of memories both in the Philippines and here in the States associated with it.
So back to the blog post – homemade popsicles? Specifically, halo halo popsicles? Sold.
After work on Friday I went to two different stores in preparation for this recipe. I’ll admit – I used the jarred halo halo mix. Could I have made my own mix? Of course and it’s the perfect way to customize it to your tastes. But I guess I’ve always associated halo halo with the jarred mix (since that’s what my family always used).
Go here to see Chow.com’s Original Popsicle Recipe. I’ve changed the recipe slightly since I don’t have molds and in order to make more popsicles (although their version is way prettier than mine). I was also striving to cut a bit of the fat and calories from their recipe since it calls for heavy cream, whole milk, and coconut milk. Any other changes were based on personal preference.
Halo Halo Popsicles
Serves: 10 – 14 (it all depends on how big you make them)
- Popsicle Molds with Sticks – Since I don’t own these I used small 5 oz plastic cups with wooden popsicle stick “spoons”
- ½ cup Frozen grated ube
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup skim milk (I actually only keep nonfat dry milk in the house since we don’t really drink milk so I just reconstituted that for this recipe)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup lite coconut milk
- ¾ cup fat free evaporated milk
- ¾ cup fat free or low fat sweetened condensed milk (I used it for its creaminess, and since I accidently opened it instead of the evaporated milk, but if you wanted to use all evaporated milk you could – I would add some sugar though since the condensed milk already has it)
- ¾ cup halo halo mix (mix up whatever you like or use the jarred mix)
- Mix ube, heavy cream, skim milk, and sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Keep stirring until heated through and thoroughly combined. Their version calls for you to blend the ube/milk mix until smooth but I wanted some “shreds” in my mixture so I skipped this step.
- Divide into molds/cups and freeze. If you’re using molds, follow your mold directions. If you’re using cups, freeze without putting the sticks in.
- While these are freezing, combine coconut milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and halo halo mix in bowl. Set aside in fridge until next step.
- After about 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours of the ube mix being in the freezer, remove the cups from the freezer. Divide milk/halo halo mix evenly between all of the cups. Place sticks into the center of cups (they should stay upright as long as you push them into the already frozen ube part). Freeze for an additional 6 hours.
- To serve: dunk the outside of the cups in hot water until you can evenly twist the stick and the popsicle pops out.
Actually the sticks I bought happened to be super convenient because after driving an hour to the lake, even with them in the cooler, they had melted to the point where you couldn’t pull it out and eat it as a “popsicle” (although the one I ate at home was eaten and thoroughly enjoyed that way). Instead, they ended up using the sticks as “spoons” to scoop it all out, almost as an ice cream.
Overall? The majority of the kids were not fans (2 were ok with it, 2 were not). I think they range in age from about 4 – 8. Maybe they’re too Americanized? It’s not overly sweet/chocolately like most American desserts.
The adults – loved it (or at least said they did). My mom kept saying it was better than regular halo halo and I think my other (fully grown) family members enjoyed it.
Either way I completely intend to make them again (especially since I have more than enough grated ube in my fridge) – even if it ends up being just for me. Maybe I’ll be nice and drop some extras off for my mom.