It doesn’t matter where you are in Puerto Rico- your block, your school, or in a downtown plaza- someone will always be selling frozen fruit juice pops called limbers. My Abuela Alicia lived in a tenement building in Rio Piedras and had a neighbor that would sell them out of her apartment. My brother and I would hand her fifty cents through a gap in her wrought iron door and in return we would get two little dixie cups filled to the top with frozen sweetened coconut milk. It was the tastiest way to stay cool in a world with no air conditioning.
These frosty, refreshing treats are named after Charles A. Lindbergh, the first pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. On his 26th birthday, he flew alone to Puerto Rico and enjoyed the icy fruit juice pops so much, locals named them after him. Limbers are usually served in the small plastic cup they were frozen in and come in as many flavors as there are fruit trees: lemon, pineapple, lime, tamarind, raspberry, you name it. My favorite has always been mango. Beat the heat with this easy recipe that takes you straight to my little island. Buen provecho!
- Six 3 oz ice pop molds or six 5oz plastic dixie cups
- 4 champagne mangoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (optional)
- Champagne mangoes have a bold, honeyed flavor and aren’t as fibrous as other mangoes. When the mangoes are ripe they should be aromatic and have some give when you press a finger into the skin.
- Slice the mangoes along both flat sides of the seed. Holding a half over your blender jar, use a spoon to remove as much flesh as you can from the skin. Repeat for the second half. Peel the seed and run the spoon along it to remove as much flesh and juice as possible.
- Puree the mango and taste it. Add honey to desired sweetness. (Don’t forget that it’s difficult to detect sweetness in anything frozen, so don’t hold back!)
- Add lime juice to taste and a touch of ginger to give the puree dimension. Blend. Add the water and blend again. You should have 16 to 20 ounces of puree.
- Fill the ice pop molds or plastic dixie cups and freeze for 8 hours.