Ice cream is happiness condensed.

Jessie Lane Adams

Looking for Happiness?

My definition of happiness has always been simple – for example, these Creamy Custard and Strawberry Popsicles are my idea of unadulterated joy. Don’t judge me for being so basic, listen to me first! 2020 has been the strangest year in our lives, right!  A year that history will remember. The anxiety for the wellbeing of our loved ones, the fear of an unseen enemy, the loneliness that social distancing has brought and ofcourse a constant struggle to survive.  But really enough! If you want to stay sane amid this coronavirus crisis, take a break this weekend, for your sake! Cook not just for mere nourishment or survival, but for pure pleasure. Use whatever ingredients you have in the pantry, even if that’s just the last half dozen of eggs, or the only can of mushrooms, a few sad pieces of fresh or frozen fruits or the dwindling flour. Make it work – cook happiness out of what you have!

Happiness is cold, sweet and creamy! 

Talking of happy food, what comes first to mind are frozen, sweet treats – frozen yogurt, icecream and popsicles. I’ve been badly craving icecream these past two weeks but didn’t go out for grocery shopping as we didn’t really need anything else as such. These days we only go to the grocery store when there are atleast ten essential items in our shopping list. While icecream is a happiness-must-have, it’s not crucial to survival so no icecream for two weeks!

Making Happiness Happen.

The other day, I was just planning to make some fruit custard as I saw a few strawberries in the fridge that would have gone mushy if I didn’t use them up soon. While stirring the custard, this light bulb of an idea lighted up my whole kitchen with happiness. Why not make creamy custard and strawberry popsicles instead of just plain old fruit custard. I was suddenly so excited!   I mean, who wouldn’t love the cool, creamy, silky sweetness of frozen vanilla custard on a stick?  Add to that the sweet and sour flavour burst from strawberries. I do love fruity popsicles but if given a choice, I would always choose the creamy ones. When they were ready, not only my daughter but my husband and I also went after them crazy, as if we were kids once again.

Tips:

*If you simply want plain vanilla popsicles, this recipe makes about 8 (depending on the size of your mold). But if you want to play with flavours,  this recipe will then yield about 10 popsicles with almost 1 tablespoon of fruit of your choice per popsicle. You can use fresh or frozen fruits here. You can use fruit jams, stir in chocolate chips, crumbled cookies – really, just be creative!

*I always use balloon whisk to stir white sauce and custard. It helps avoid lumps.

*Don’t have popsicle molds? Use kulfi molds, ice trays, any small glasses, cups or disposable cups.

*You can also use custard powder mix to make custard but I would still recommend adding two egg yolks for a rich, creamy texture.

Ingredients:

1 litre milk
3 tablespoons corn starch
4 eggs
4 tablespoons sugar or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

6-8 strawberries

 

This Is What You Do:

In 1/2 cup milk dilute corn flour, set aside.

In a bowl thoroughly beat 4 eggs, set aside.

Heat the remaining milk in a sauce pan, add sugar.

Stir till sugar is dissolved.  Add the corn flour mix while stirring continuously.

Remove pan from heat, add two tablespoons of this hot mixture to the beaten eggs to temper them.

Don’t miss this step because it will make your custard smooth and prevent eggs from becoming scrambled.

Add the egg mix back to pan, slowly pouring in a stream and stirring.

Return the pan to heat, keep stirring till the custard thickens.

Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, then cool over an ice bath.

If using conventional ice pop molds, divide the mixture among the molds, leaving 1 inch space at the top for strawberries or whatever fruit or flavour you are pairing with it.

Add strawberry slices at the top of each popsicle. Push them into the custard a bit.

Cover and freeze until solid for an hour or till partially frozen. Insert sticks at this point into the molds. Then continue to freeze until solid, about 5 more hours.

Makes 8-10 popsicles 

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