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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Creamy Earl Grey, Cardamom, & Pistachio Popsicles ...inspired by Death by Darjeeling {cook the books}

I don't think I've mentioned that I recently started spending time at a quaint little tea shop situated in a beautiful area in town perfect for walking and catching the cool breeze from the nearby river.  Indigo Tea Shop is the sort of place that beckons you to walk through its propped open front door with the  promise of comfort snaking through the air in the form of heady, enticing scent of tea leaves, spices, and freshly baked goods.

The staff of the shop are welcoming and very knowledgeable, as I'm not very adept in my knowledge of tea.  Sure, I've known the comforts of Chamomile, the curative properties of Lemon-Ginger, the uplifting and energizing effects of Green tea, and the scent alone of a good Earl Grey can lift my spirits and bring me a sense of peace all at the same time.  But there is so much more to blending...and enjoying...a fantastic cup of tea.  The Indigo's owner, Theodosia, along with her distinguished colleague Drayton have never seemed put-out at my ignorance.  In fact, they seem as excited to share their knowledge as they do their tea.

And you know I couldn't spend so much time in a place if it didn't offer some tasty food, as well now don't you?  Well, they have a couple of sweet college girls working in the shop, Haley and Bethany, the first of which can bake up a mean blackberry scone.  And her caramel-nut shortbread!?  Not to mention the best Irish Soda Bread I've ever tried...or perhaps it was just the Hot Crab Dip that went alongside it.  Either way.
But in the midst of all of this comfort and beauty, a sad and mysterious thing happened.  Okay, not actually "in the midst", more "in the area surrounding".  The yearly guided tour of the district that the Indigo occupies was happening.  And unfortunately, at the end of the tour, somebody was found dead.  With only a tea cup in front of them.  So suspicion fell directly upon these lovely people from the tea shop.  I sat on the edge of my seat on pins and needles waiting for these good people's names to be cleared.  I heard that someone even threatened Theo's sweet dog...a stray that she rescued and nurtured and named Earl the course of the investigation.  Apparently she was trying to clear her name and getting too close to the actual killer.

Well, I'm just happy to report that they found the real killer and that the Indigo seems to be back to normal.  And Earl Grey is safe and sound.  Since I can only imagine that going through such an ordeal would be completely draining on both your body and your spirit, I decided to make some treats to bring to these people at the Indigo.  These people that were so kind and welcoming to me.  Something that would hopefully bring a smile to their faces and make them forget...if only for a moment...what they just went through.  Popsicles are enough to make anybody smile, right?  Especially when it's still hot enough outside to break a sweat.  So, in honor of Earl Grey (the Dalbrador) being safe and as a nod to their business and passion, I infused some of that tea by the same name that always seems to lift my spirits and bring me peace all at the same time, Earl Grey.  Because I think that's just what they all need right now.

Creamy Earl Grey, Cardamom, & Pistachio Popsicles

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: snack dessert vegetarian nuts milk popsicles summer spring

Ingredients (10-12 popsicles)
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • ¼ c. pistachios, roasted & salted
In a small saucepan, heat the evaporated milk until small bubble form around the edges. Snip the tea bags open and pour into heated milk; stir. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

Whisk in cardamom, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream.

Put the pistachios in a mini-food processor (or chop by hand) and pulse until you have roughly chopped the nuts. It's nice to leave some larger chunks along with the finely chopped bits.

Divide the pistachios among your popsicle molds. Pour in the milk mixture. Freeze until solid, adding sticks at the right time for the molds you're using. Enjoy!

inspired by Death By Darjeeling and adapted from Aarti Sequeira
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And I can't wait to see what the next mystery that my new friends from the Indigo Tea Shop get tangled up in is in book number two of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Gunpowder Green.  That's right, I discovered the Indigo Tea Shop in the current Cook the Books pick, Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs.  And none too soon.  Since mysteries are my favorite reads...especially when paired with food, wine, tea, coffee, cooking...I'm excited to find this new (to me) series to read through this summer.  I'm all caught up on my current favorite series, so it was perfect timing.  Thanks to Rachel for this fun pick.  If you want to join in this round of Cook the Books, it's not too late...submissions aren't due until the end of July.  Now...I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of said book number two that is currently on its way from somebody at paperback swap.

I am sharing this post with:
cookthebooks The Summer of the Popsicle 2012 at novel food Tasty Tuesdays 33 shades of green tasty-tuesday-larger-logo1 hearthnsoul150 a little birdie told me rook no. 17 ybr_Button

Would you like to comment?

  1. what an interesting combination! it sounds delicious! thanks for sharing!

  2. Great!!!!!!!!! Beautiful presentation...

  3. Sounds like a splendid series of books, and you totally had me going -- I thought you were describing a real-life tea shop in your town!

    What an incredible frozen delight based on the book! Off to pin it!


  4. these popsicles look amazing heather I love this recipe!

  5. Ok, where do I start – love the look of
    your site here. You change it up and it looks good. Then you make
    another change and it looks even better.
    had notification from the library this book is in, awaiting me on my
    next trip. Glad to hear you liked it. I have been slacking getting
    posts up on my end.

    Your pops look good and you know, I have everything except caradmon at the house. Good one!Oh, and thanks much for the birthday wishes :-)

  6. Thanks Tina...I can never decide. I want some a bit more "polished", but until I hit the lottery, that's probably not gonna happen. So I continue to tinker... ha. Enjoy this's fun! =)

  7. ha ha ha ha...thanks Jenn ;) Loved having some fun with this one!

  8. A glorious post for Cook the Books! I'm so glad that you liked the book and want to continue the series. I;m planning to read my way through the series too. Love the setting, the characters and the tea knowledge.

  9. They sound interesting and they look delicious,Heather! very creative!

  10. josé manuel martín fernándezJune 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Que originales

  11. Love tea shops. They are so quaint and cute. The Popsicle look good.

  12. alyssa (everyday maven)June 12, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Heather you are so creative - what awesome pops!

  13. I am so majorly intigued and wowed by these flavors! You really took paletas to the next level with these,

  14. The flavors in these popsicles are exotic and dreamy! You transported me right to the tea shop! Heehee I thought it was a real place.

  15. I'm so glad it's the summer of the Popsicle!

  16. Exotic flavours for a really creamy popsicle. Reminds me of Indian kulfi.

  17. Nancy/My PicadilloJune 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    I'm picking up "Death by Darjeeling" from the library tomorrow for "Cook the Books"! Sounds like fun =)

  18. I need to get a popsicles mould. These are just lovely!

  19. What a superb chilling treat for a hot day like this!

  20. Oh YOU! I was brewing with tension as I read this post and completely elated to learn it was a story. Boy oh boy though, I'm sure glad those popsicles are real! I need one to cool me off after reading this post.

    Thanks for sharing, Heather. I love the new "tinkered" look btw:)

  21. How decadent! They sounds divine Heather...simply divine.

  22. You are so creative, Heather - I'm in awe! I never would have even thought to make Earl Gray pops, let alone in combination with cardamom and pistachio. But of course, now that I see them, I want them... I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday series (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and it's so much fun following your creations…

  23. LOVE these! If you don't mind, I'm going to brag about them over on my facebook tea page "Tea Paparazzo." :)


  24. Thanks so much! And no, of course not...I don't mind. I'm flattered! =)

  25. I was completely drawn in by this post, and I really had totally started to think of the characters you were discussing as real people! I love the idea of your creamy Earl Grey pops, especially with the of cardamom and pistachio - they would so enhance the Bergamot flavours of Earl Grey. I really must try making these as you can imagine just how popular something like this would be in England, not to mention that Earl Grey is my husband's absolute favourite tea!

  26. What a crazy story! It sounds like an episode from a crime show, but I'm glad everything worked out in the end.

    I saw these popsicles on Spicie Foodie's YBR and they look so fabulous. I'm going to have to find evaporated milk where I am to try them. Is there anything else I could subsitute it for?

  27. You could try making your own evaporated milk. I'm sure there are different methods out there, but I'll list the one I use. It makes a little more than 12 oz., but you can simply remove the 2 extra ounces and save them for another recipe:

    Evaporated milk substituteyield: 14 oz.
    1½ c. warm water1 c. dry (powdered) milk1 Tbs. butter
    Stir together all ingredients in a small pot. Heat and stir until butter is melted. Whisk together well. Cool. Store in refrigerator.

    Hope this helps!

  28. What a nice idea! And as you say, a welcome treat during a heat wave. Thank you so much for contributing to Novel Food!

  29. Wow Heather these popsicles have my name written all over them. They have everything I love! Thanks for being a part of the YBR:) Have a great holiday.

  30. sweetalmondtree.blogspot.comJuly 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    I always smile when dogs are safe, and I am glad that Earl Grey is safe and sound. What a fun read that must have been. I reread Jane Eyre for Novel Food.
    Your pictures are lovely! I grew up drinking Chamomile tea (with a squirt of lemon in it), and your pictures made me feel a tinge of nostalgia.

  31. Love those popsicles---keep them coming. I can just taste these flavors. Love the cardamom!

  32. These look simply wonderful..very exotic! I'm so easily led...I've had to get a set of popsicle molds because it just makes sense when there's only 2 of us! LOL!! I love your photos...excellent as always! Your review made me do a double take...enjoy your next read!

  33. Such a wonderful and creative ice pop--love those Indian-inspired flavors and I love that you honored Earl Grey who sounded just adorable. I want to hang out at Indigo with you. ;-) This was a fun CTB pick.

  34. Good job on the review, you certainly got into that space, and I loved that delicious popsicle. Want one right now.