Even though we’ve shifted into the season of crisp fall air, I still crave chilled treats in the afternoon to wake up my senses. Iced tea lattes are a go-to sip guaranteed to please, but why not add a touch of ice cream truck whimsy by transforming the iced latte into a popsicle? It’s as simple as brew, sweeten and freeze (followed by a second step to add a layer of frozen milk). Make a big batch to cure the mid-day lull with a caffeinated treat that’s sure to bring a smile to your face.
While this particular recipe calls for Earl Grey tea, you can swap it with others teas that can stand up to the richness of milk. I recommend an Assam, Keemun, or an English Breakfast blend. You can even alter the flavor by blending a pinch of dried herbs and flowers with the tea (think lavender, rose petal, hibiscus, mint) or use a favorite pre-blended black tea that would be friendly with the creamy milk companion. Beyond the tea and milks, the only other ingredient that this recipe calls for is honey. So, be playful and swap standard honey for those that are naturally flavored (lavender honey for floral flavors or chestnut honey for a super earthy twist). Keep in mind that these popsicles are lightly sweetened with honey, so if you tend to have a sweet tooth you might consider increasing the amount ever so slightly.
For a balanced iced tea latte treat, the popsicle ratio should be ¾ sweetened tea and ¼ milk. To give these popsicles a latte taste, the recipe calls for a mixture of milk and condensed milk. If cow’s milk is not your cup of tea, then swap in coconut or almond milk. Condensed milk adds a deeply sweet richness that truly makes this popsicle a treat. Note that we need to mix the condensed milk with the milk (whether cow, almond or coconut), as condensed milk on its own will not freeze. To give the popsicles a layered look, you’ll need to wait for the tea to freeze for two hours in the popsicle mold before adding the milk mixture (and then wait another two hours to ensure that everything is frozen solid). If you don’t have the patience for double the wait and don’t care for a layered look, simply mix the milk mixture into the chilled tea, pour into the popsicle mold, and let freeze for two hours until solid.
Use this recipe as an excuse to gather friends over for a new take on happy hour. But don’t try to add alcohol to the popsicles, as it won’t freeze. Just have a chilled tea cocktail on hand that matches the tea in the popsicle. And if you have a popsicle for breakfast, well, I can’t think of a better way to start the day (it really just is a frozen iced latte).
Earl Grey Tea Latte Popsicles
Makes Four 1.5oz popsicles
2/3rd cup water
3 teaspoons Earl Grey tea (whole leaf recommended)
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons milk (whole milk, unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk)
1 tablespoon condensed milk
tools: popsicle molds and plastic popsicle stick inserts or wooden popsicle sticks (plastic recommended)
Heat water to a boil and steep the earl grey tea for 4 minutes. Once 4 minutes have elapsed, strain the leaves from the tea and stir the honey into the hot tea until fully dissolved. Place the tea and honey mixture in the freezer and let it chill until ice cold (but not slushy). Pour the chilled tea into 4 popsicle molds and place back into the freezer until almost solid and slightly slushy (approximately 2 hours depending on your freezer).
As the tea freezes, add the milk to a small measuring cup and stir in the condensed milk until fully incorporated. Cover the measuring cup with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
Once the tea has slightly frozen in the 4 molds, top off each popsicle with 1 tablespoon of the milk mixture. Note that the milk mixture may settle to the bottom of the mold (making its way through the slushy tea-imparting flavor), ultimately creating a creamy layer at the top of the finished popsicle. Place the popsicle sticks into the middle of each mold, return to the freezer, and freeze until solid (approximately 2 more hours). When ready to serve, dip the bottom of each popsicle mold into a bowl of warm water for 20 to 30 seconds, and then gently pull the popsicle straight out of the mold (note: twisting the popsicle from the mold may break the layers). Enjoy!