Is there anything better than a frosty, freezy treat on a perfect sunny day? These light and refreshing ice pops use fresh juice and zest from California Valencia oranges, honey, and a splash of Aperol for a bitter, herbal note. There’s also a secret ingredient that makes a big difference in the texture: powdered gelatin, which softens the ice pop, making it easier to take bites out of.
One tip: Sweeten these ice pops to your taste. This recipe calls for ¼ cup of honey, but every Valencia orange is different. Some will be bright and acidic and need the full ¼ cup of honey, others may need less if they’re super sweet already. These ice pops are such a fun aperitif, and are great to serve on their own or plunged upside down into a glass of sparkling wine. —Max Rappaport
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is shared in partnership with California Citrus Growers. —The Editors
8 hours 15 minutes
6 ice pops
2 1/2 cups
California Valencia orange juice (from about 10 large oranges)
California Valencia orange zest
orange flower honey, or to taste
In This Recipe
Using a microplane or a fine-toothed grater, zest oranges in a large bowl. Be sure to only grate over an area once so none of the bitter pith is grated instead of the skin. Cut oranges in half, and juice into the same bowl as the zest. (This should take about 10 large oranges, maybe less if they’re extra juicy.)
In a saucepan, combine the gelatin with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk to combine and allow to sit and hydrate for 5 minutes.
Turn on the heat to medium-low and, with a silicone spatula, mix the gelatin and water until the graininess of the gelatin disappears. Add the honey and salt, and continue to whisk until the mixture just starts to bubble lightly. Add the Aperol plus the orange juice and zest, stir to combine, and transfer into a container and allow to cool over an ice bath for 15 minutes.
Using a fine mesh strainer set over a large measuring cup with a spout, strain out the orange zest and distribute evenly among your popsicle molds. This should be enough to make 6 large popsicles.
Place popsicles in the freezer for at least 8 hours, or until frozen completely. To remove the popsicle, run the mold under lukewarm water for about 10 seconds, then gently wiggle the popsicle stick until the popsicle releases.