real life test kitchen: perfect pops

Juice Bar
Perfect Pops_BlackberryIcedTea
Mexican Chocolate

Food trends seem to come and go at lightning speed these days, particularly when it comes to sweet treats. We’ve gone from cupcakes to whoopie pies to pie to Parisian macarons – it’s enough to make a baker throw up her apron in frustration. Fortunately, the latest and greatest in sweet treat trends is as simple as can be: the gourmet ice pop.

Now, believe me when I tell you this is not the Twin Pop you remember (with great fondness) from your youth. The new generation of ice pops are packed with real fruit, exotic flavors, and even, on occasion, a bit of booze…and they are delicious. You can shell out as much as $5 for a single pop at your friendly neighborhood Farmers’ Market. Or you can pick up a copy of Perfect Pops (by Charity Ferreira, Chronicle Books) and a $3 popsicle mold, and you’ll be set for the summer.

I think my favorite thing about this new book is how easy the ice pop thing really is. No mixers, no measuring cups, no oven required. I made a batch using nothing but a cereal bowl and a mini-spatula as my “tools”. These recipes are made for winging it, and they’re all but foolproof – you’ll quickly find yourself making substitutions in your head, and the beauty is that, because it’s not baking, just about anything goes.

I got a wild hair to try the Neo-Neopolitan Pops one night, and rummaged around in my fridge to see if I could make it happen. Fresh strawberries to cook down and puree? Nope, but I had strawberry jam and a sieve…good enough. Chocolate sauce? How about melting down some hot fudge? Turns out, it worked out perfectly. And after about 5 minutes of hands-on time (spread over an hour) and an overnight stay in the freezer, they were delicious.

Next on my list are the Blackberry Iced Tea pops. Of course, I don’t have blackberries, but I have some blueberries in my freezer that are desperate to be used. And I don’t have any Earl Grey tea, but I’m thinking maybe a batch of decaf peach tea might work out perfectly. –Becki S. Click for Neo-Neapolitan Pops!

Becki pops
Neo-Neapolitan Pops

This pretty layered pop is a frozen yogurt version of that time-honored combination of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.

1 1/4 cup vanilla low-fat or whole-milk yogurt
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 cup sliced, hulled strawberries (from about 8 ounces berries)
1 tablespoon sugar

In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the yogurt and the chocolate syrup. Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds, dividing it evenly and filling each mold about one-third full. Freeze for 30 to 45 minutes. Divide 2/3 cup yogurt evenly among the molds on top of the chocolate layer. Insert sticks. Freeze for 30 to 45 minutes, until set. Purée the strawberries in a food processor until smooth. With a wooden spoon push the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, extracting as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Whisk in the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the yogurt until well combined. Spoon the mixture evenly among the molds, on top of the yogurt layer. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 1 week. To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.

Makes 6 pops

From our partners

Oh wow! You had me at the second photo. I’ve been trying homemade ice cream, but now I’m inspired to try this. Thanks!

I too am OBSESSED with these this summer…and I have the same little inexpensive molds. It’s so fun to just whip something up in the a.m.–lots of experimenting goes on here too, since I NEVER seem to have all of the ingredients I need for any recipe–and eat them in the evening. Must try this next!

shelterrific » Blog Archive » end of summer craft ideas: what to do with popsicle sticks?

[…] you know from previous posts, it’s been a summer filled with popsicles. And as the last long weekend approaches, I feel […]