With one long, steady stroke I cut the pebbly-skinned avocado around its pit. I twisted the two pear-shaped halves with my hands and pulled them apart then tapped the sharp edge of my knife gently on the pit to remove it. I sliced its yellow and green flesh into thick half moons and placed them in a glass bowl. With the tines of a fork, I mashed the creamy pulp, added some milk and sugar, then whisked everything together into a smooth, sweet puree.
This is how we eat avocados back home. Carved out of their dark green and purple-tinged skins, simply sliced or mashed but always lavished with evaporated milk and sugar. It is a very simple, very satisfying himagas to cap a good meal. Avocados are botanically classified as a fruit and Filipinos rightfully regard them so. Filipinos do not cook with them like Mexicans and Americans do. In the summertime, ice cream carts peddle avocado ice cream in the streets while families, including mine, freeze homemade versions in long, tube-like plastic bags.
I dipped my finger into the bowl one last time before I poured the puree into the popsicle molds. I licked it clean and, as much as I embarrassed to admit, dipped it again. And again. The blissful blend of avocado, milk, and sugar tasted so creamy. So good. It tasted like the sweet summers of home.
Avocado Ice Pops Recipe, makes 8 to 12 popsicles
2 medium to large avocados
1 tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
Cut and pit the avocados. Cut the flesh into slices with a knife or scoop it out with a spoon. Place avocado, calamansi juice, milk, cream, and sugar in a blender to puree. The lime helps keep the avocado green and enhances its flavor. Alternatively, place avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add calamansi juice, milk, cream, and sugar and whisk together until smooth.
If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds. Snap on the lid and freeze until solid, about 4 hours. If using glasses, cups, or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set, about 2 hours, then insert the sticks and freeze until solid. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
The mixture can also be used to make avocado ice cream. Freeze the puree in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.