Red bean ice cream popsicles, called “Azuki Bar” in Japan, are such a creamy and refreshing treat to eat in the hot summer months. They have a sweet, slightly nutty flavour and are just so delicious. They bring back so many memories of my childhood in Japan.
Hot Summer Treat
Summer in Japan is very hot and humid. This summer seems to be no exception. Red bean icecream popsicles would be the perfect summer treat. It certainly had been a special treat in my childhood.
Imuraya Azuki Bar vs Red bean ice cream
The classic summer treat my mother often bought and kept in the freezer was Imuraya Azuki Bar. It is made with red bean paste, sugar, cornstarch and corn syrup. It is quite icy and I always wanted more of these creamy and soft popsicles. As much as I loved these Azuki bars, my recipe makes an even tastier and healthier red bean icecream.
How to make creamy red bean ice cream?
The Ice cream base is milk and cream mixture. I use the same ice cream making method for my Green tea ice cream and Black sesame ice cream recipes. So after whisking the egg yolks and sugar, just add red bean paste which is sweetened red beans (adzuki beans).
Red bean Paste
Red bean paste is made from Azuki beans (adzuki beans). There are two types of this bean paste and both of them are sweetened with sugar. They are also known as ‘An’ or ‘Anko’ in Japanese. You can buy this in tins but also you can make this easily at home. If you would like to know more about this paste, read my previous post.
Useful equipment to make red bean ice cream
If you have an ice cream maker or ice cream machine, churning the mixture will be easier. I don’t have an ice cream maker but I have a stand mixer which came with an ice cream making bowl. If you don’t have this equipment, don’t worry you can still make it. You need to freeze the mixture in the freezer and whisk the mixture every few hours to break any ice crystals.
Or also you could just freeze the mixture in a Popsicle Mould if you don’t mind the red bean segments to precipitate at the bottom of the mould. I wanted to make it look like the “Imuraya Azuki Bar”, so I used a mould but of course, you can just scoop the ice cream to serve.
Removing a popsicle is a little difficult. You need to leave it at room temperature for a couple of minutes then remove it carefully. Otherwise, the tip of the popsicles may break off. If it is summer you may not need to wait a couple of minutes of course.
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Creamy Red Bean Popsicles
- 250 ml milk
- 125 ml cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 25 g caster sugar
- 100 g sweet red bean paste Azuki bean paste (Store bought or home made Azuki bean paste)*1
- Bring the milk and cream to a simmer over low heat in a sauce pan.
- Turn the heat off and set aside.
- Whisk 2 egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until the colour of the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
- Add the sweet red bean paste to the sugar and yolk mixture and mix well.
- Gradually pour the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture and keep whisking until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a clean sauce pan and place over low heat for 5 minutes, continuously stirring.
- Leave it in the fridge to chill.
- Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker (or you can pour the mixture straight into the mould if you don’t mind the segments precipitating at the bottom).
- Run the ice cream maker for about 20 minutes, and once the mixture has become thicker, pour it into a popsicle mould and freeze it overnight or 7-8 hours.