Thai Iced Tea Pops
THAI ICED TEA POPS MAKES ABOUT 6 POPSICLES
Super-sweet and strong Thai iced tea, brewed with Ceylon tea and sweetened with condensed milk, can’t really get better... except when it’s turned into a frozen treat. At markets across Southeast Asia, the tea is “pulled” by pouring it back and forth at high heights—both to give the tea a thick frothy top and also to cool it down while thoroughly mixing it with the condensed milk. In Thailand, this drink is often sold “to go” in little plastic bags with straws, which sounds almost as fun as these frozen pops. The iced tea served in Thai restaurants derives its candy-like color from food coloring (oddly enough, the same shade of Number 6 yellow food dye formerly used in Kraft macaroni and cheese) to produce the bold hues that this tea is normally associated with. Just before serving, it is usually topped with evaporated milk, which gives the tea a creamy body. For popsicles, I like to pour the tea into molds almost to the top, then add a tablespoon or two of evaporated milk to create that creamy body.
6 black Ceylon tea bags, or ⅓ cup loose tea leaves
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
½ to ¾ cup evaporated milk (about half of a 12-ounce can)
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the tea bags or leaves, remove the pan from the heat, and steep for 5 minutes. Toss out the tea bags (or strain out and discard the leaves). Stir in the condensed milk. Pour this mixture into ice-pop molds until they are nearly filled to the top, and then top each one with a tablespoon or two of the evaporated milk. (The milk will settle into the molds as it freezes, creating a burst of milky whiteness.) Freeze until solid, at least 5 hours.