Summer is upon us and that means buns and popsicles are out (insert crude food jokes here). New York is already hitting the 70s and 80s weather, which means frozen treats are a must. Why go for the artificially flavored and artificially colored popsicles when you can make your own and know all of the ingredients going into your dessert? Don’t get me wrong, Fla-vor-Ice is a solid childhood throwback, and if someone were to offer me one right now, I’d probably take one for old times’ sake. However, if you want to elevate the dessert status at your summer BBQ gatherings, I suggest the Hong Kong milk tea popsicle. Your guests will thank you for introducing this caffeinated, icey treat to them.
Hong Kong style milk tea is a classic, full-bodied drink (both hot and iced) that you have with your meals or as afternoon tea in Hong Kong. While there are various ways to make Hong Kong style milk tea, at its core, it’s a mixture of strong black teas, milk, and sugar. Evaporated milk and condensed milk are typically used in place of regular milk when making this drink. Fun fact: this tea is nicknamed the “pantyhose tea” or the “silk stocking” milk tea due to the way the tea is filtered and strained. While you don’t need to rummage through your drawers to find a pair of pantyhose to make this tea, you will need the correct type of tea to ensure that you’re capturing the correct flavor profile of this velvety and creamy tea drink.
6 tsp of Harney & Sons Orange Pekoe Loose Leaf Tea (feel free to use other brands if you prefer. I also used loose leaf tea because it’s stronger)
1 can of evaporated milk – 12 fl. oz
1 can of condensed milk – 14 fl. oz
Steps to make the concentrated milk tea:
1. Boil 2 cups of water and 6 tsp of loose leaf tea (this will make roughly 6-8 popsicles depending on how large your molds are)
2. Let the tea leaves steep for roughly 12-15 minutes. The longer you steep the tea, the stronger the flavor will come out. It’s important to make the tea stronger as some of the flavor gets lost once the popsicles are frozen.
3. Strain the tea into a heat resistant cup.
4. Stir in 1/2 cup of evaporated milk and 6 tsp of condensed milk until fully incorporated. Remember that this is a concentrated tea mix as freezing the mixture will dull the flavor profile.
5. Let the tea cool down completely.
6. In a separate heat resistant cup, add in 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and 2 tsp of condensed milk.
7. Microwave the cup for roughly 30 seconds and stir the mixture until the condensed milk is fully dissolved. Let this cool down completely.
Steps to make the popsicles:
1. Take the popsicle molds and pour in milk tea 3/4 of the way.
2. Freeze this uncovered for an hour and 15 minutes so that the popsicles are mostly frozen.
3. Take the popsicle mold out of the freezer and pour in the evaporated and condensed milk mixture the rest of the way.
4. Add in the popsicle sticks and freeze for another 4-8 hours.
5. Once you’re ready to eat the popsicles, you can run the molds under hot water for a few seconds until the popsicles are loosened enough to pull out of the mold.