I scream, you scream, we all scream for… fruit popsicles!
As many of you know, I delved into ice cream and sorbet making (with much enthusiasm and an overabundance of the sweet cold stuff) last summer… and due to the demands of a husband with a super-sweet-tooth, I haven’t stopped making ice cream and sorbets since. Well, perhaps ‘demands’ is too strong a word. Let’s just say he comments when the ice cream tub is empty and looks at me with tears in his eyes (I think he uses onions for effect, but I can’t prove it). In Significant Other terms, that’s a strong request. I consider strong requests as verging on demand : ) Where was I? Ice cream. Well, I felt it time to alter the high sugar, high cream fat content of our diets. After looking at my I Screamthread from last year, my memory was jogged when I saw Sleevendog’s comment on Paletas. Paletas are Mexican Popsicles made with seasonal fresh fruit, some of which are water based, some milk based. Nowadays, you needn’t call a fresh fruit popsicle a Paleta, as it seems everyone is making them, and has been for some time. It seems once again, I’m last in line to try these.
You can vary your type of sugar – cane, honey, brown, maple syrup, agave – as well as sugar content – to the point of no sugar for very sweet fruits. You can vary the water content too, and leave it out for a thicker, richer fruit popsicle. As for dairy popsicles, milk, heavy cream, yogurt (including Greek), coconut milk, and really anything your diet allows can be used.
Oh, and there are ‘adult’ popsicles. No, they aren’t in provocative shapes. Rather, you add a bit of alcohol – just be careful, as alcohol is not known to freeze, or freeze well.
And you may add nuts, seeds, greens, herbs, chilis, and well… pretty much anything, just let your imagination go! Just don’t get too outta hand. I don’t think anyone really wants to try a jalapeno and quinoa popsicle. Or a durian and… well, a durian and anything popsicle. At least, I don’t.
You can use a blender, a food processor, an immersion blender, a potato masher, or your fists if so inclined. And you can add lime or lemon juice to help fruits retain freshness and color (although when it came to retaining color, I didn’t find that to be true), and to give a zing. You can strain, or leave all the fiber in (the latter is healthier, obviously, and we found it far tastier).
I bought silicone pop molds, slightly smaller than some, and found the silicone so easy when it came time to remove the popsicle, just tug a little at the sides, then push up from the bottom. You can wrap them in special wrappers, or baggies, or cling wrap before storing them in the freezer.
I decided to make my efforts simple: I made a single simple syrup with a ratio of 1:1. If additional water was needed, that could be easily added without further sweetening. Beyond that, I just needed fruit, and in summer our home has no shortage of fruits. …I know, I left that one wide open, didn’t I?
I decided to try cantaloupe and strawberry first. I added a little simple syrup to our garden strawberries and let them macerate in the fridge for a while to create more strawberry juice. The cantaloupe was easy, very little simple syrup added as it was very ripe, and cantaloupe has a higher water content already. I didn’t let my layers freeze because I thought it’d be so pretty to allow them to meld together a little. Yeah, you aren’t buying that, are you? I poured in the cantaloupe puree, quickly followed by the strawberry puree because I was in a hurry. As it turns out, they didn’t mix too much, they were pretty, and the two flavors were great together:
More to follow...