I wanted to try making a really pretty rainbow ice pop, even though it meant using artificial coloring. So today I did, and I learned a few things:
1. One drop of red food coloring makes lemonade pink, not red.
2. There are two tablespoons in an ounce, not three.
3. My tablespoon measure is wildly inaccurate.
As a result of all of these lessons, I came up with an ice pop that was really pretty, but not exactly a successful rainbow:
I think I need to try this one again. I don’t know why, but I am obsessed with making a pretty rainbow pop. I don’t think I can rest until I work it out.
Since I made those red, white & blue ice pops last week, I’ve been thinking about making a full-on rainbow ice pop. Trouble is, I don’t really like using artificial colors to make ice pops. I (and my kids) get enough of those in our daily allowance of Cheetos and there doesn’t seem to be much point to my adding more. So I decided that for my first try at a rainbow ice pop, I needed to at least try to make the majority of the colors come from actual juice. That means a lot of different juices:
Cherry juice for red, orange juice for obvious reasons, pineapple juice for yellow, green smoothie for green, lemonade and food coloring for blue, V-8 Fusion for purple. I decided y’all didn’t really need to see indigo.
You’ll note that there’s no blue juice there. For one thing, I ran out of the blueberry smoothie I had last week. For another, no fruit or fruit juice I”ve ever used actually comes close to the color blue I associate with the rainbow. So I abandoned my principles a little and used some blue food coloring. And while I was at it, I colored the V-8 juice for the purple, too. The actual juice, while purple-ish, had too much of a red tint for what I wanted.
The pop turned out pretty, though not as vibrant or clean as I’d wanted:
I wish the green had been a less muddy color, specifically. But still, not bad for a pop made mostly out of unsweetened fruit juices. One of these days, I’ll try it the artificial way just for comparison’s sake.
Sorry, y’all, for skipping yesterday. I have no real excuse except that we’re in the final days of a really fun, really busy vacation and I spent yesterday hanging out with my family rather than making an ice pop.
Plus also, I really wanted to make another stab at red, white and blue ice pops, but I kept forgetting to borrow or buy food coloring. It wasn’t until today that I managed to pick some up.
Generally, I object to using food coloring unless it’s absolutely necessary. I figure there’s enough fake stuff in the rest of the foods we eat that I don’t need to make more. But I tried these pops with fruit juice and the colors just weren’t right. They needed a little artificiality.
I used all lemonade for these popsicles. For each of the layers I used two ounces (distributed among three ice pop molds). I used one drop of blue food coloring in the blue layer, and two drops of red in the red layer.
They came out beautiful; almost nice enough to overcome my objection to using artificial colors in an ice pop:
I still have a ton of different juices in my fridge, so I decided to use some of them up tonight:
I decided to make three different versions of this pop. To remember which juice I needed to pour in which mold next, I kept them lined up behind their respective slots, rotating them as I poured each layer. The finished pops came out really great:
It surprises me how the same three juices could make such different looking pops. I like the mostly-orange one. Which one is your favorite?
Those of you in the US are probably painfully aware that there’s a heatwave going on here. Pretty much the entire country is roasting, with temperatures climbing over 100 degrees where I am. So of course the AC chooses today to give up. It’s currently 83 degrees in my house and climbing, and it’s supposed to be even hotter out tomorrow.
If ever a situation called for ice pops, this is it.
I had originally planned to make a chocolate pop today, but in light of the thermostat, I wanted something cold and icy and in no way rich. Grape juice and lemonade seemed to fit the bill:
I decided to try a slanty pop again, since it had been a while. I didn’t measure (as you can tell), just kept switching the orientation of the Zoku as I poured my layers freehand. Still, they turned out nice enough:
You can see how hot it is in here — mere seconds out of the Zoku and already melting.
And they were cold. Blissfully cold. Today, that’s all I really wanted.
I’m going to confess something up front — I’m not much of a pomegranate fan. I mean, I like the fruit well enough, but I am not terribly fond of pomegranate flavorings. Still, it’s an interesting flavor, and I figured it was worth seeing how it worked in an ice pop:
That’s 100% pomegranate juice, not a blend. And as it happens, not for the faint of taste bud.
I decided to make these pops with lemonade, too, to soften the intensity of the 100% pomegranate juice. Plus, I figured for my first try at a pom pop, I should mix in something familiar.
If I’d been making this popscicle just for me or the kids, I probably would have mixed the pomegranate juice and the lemonade together. But that makes for boring photos, so I did a striped pop instead:
The neat color-fade effect on the middle pop was actually a mistake — the pomegranate juice in the first layer took much longer to freeze than other juices do, so I poured the lemonade layer too early and ended up with a hybrid layer. That turned out to be a good thing, because the mixed pomegranate/lemonade layer was much better tasting that the straight pomegranate one. The straight juice was strong and almost vinegary in flavor. It definitely need to be lightened with another kind of juice (or lemonade, as the case may be). Now I”m wondering how it would taste mixed with a mellow, sweet juice, like pineapple.
My two youngest children are still sick, so we’re still all about hydrating over here. But at least I can make that hydration pretty:
I wanted to do a pop that was different tones of the same color, so I chose lemonade, pineapple juice and orange juice. I propped the Zoku up on a book and poured my layers. They came out cute:
Lemonade on top, pineapple in the middle, orange on the bottom.
These days, I rarely make a full batch of pops, but I did for these. They were fun to make and to eat, despite the fact that they were just made of juice. Sometimes, simple is really all you need.
When I was a kid, I thought Cool Whip was the end-all, be-all of dessert ingredients. I wished we could have that on our ice cream rather than the boring homemade whipped cream my dad always insisted on making (I also adored iced tea made from powdered mix and far preferred potato buds to the real thing. I was a strange kid). And I was completely fascinated by desserts that combined Cool Whip and Jello. I don’t recall ever having tasted a magic jello parfait (where plain Jello is layered with a Cool Whip/Jello mixture), but they looked pretty in the ads, and I was sure they’d be fabulous.
I still have never had one of those parfaits, but I thought it’d be fun to make an ice pop in that spirit:
Orange Jello was always my favorite.
I mixed the Jello mix with the hot water it called for, then poured 2-3 tablespoons of it over about 1/4 cup of thawed cool whip. I added cold water to the remaining Jello and poured that as my first ice pop layer. Once that froze, I poured in the creamy mixture. I was a little concerned that it would not freeze hard enough with the Cool Whip, but I hoped that the plain layer would anchor the ice pop sticks and allow me to unmold the pops. I also made one plain Jello ice pop, as insurance.
The layered pops came out just fine, but to my shock, this is what happened when I tried to unmold the plain pop:
I don’t know what happened here, I think maybe there was some ice gathered in the bottom of my Zoku. I have never had a “normal” pop stick before. But at least the layered pops are pretty:
The mousse layer was really soft — I definitely would not make an entire pop out of it, because there’s no way they’d come out of the molds intact. But as a layer, they’re really nice. And they tasted just as good as my childhood cravings had imagined.
For today’s pop, I decided to have my cake and eat it too — healthy fruit, with a touch of decadence:
I have always liked the look of ombre fabric, so I decided to try to evoke that with this pop. I layered it, starting with pure strawberry puree and adding more sweetened cream with each layer, until I ended up with a final layer of just the cream. I made the layers 2 teaspoons each, but I probably could have made them larger to good effect.
As you can see, I ran into some technical difficulties with the early layers. The strawberry puree was really thick and didn’t want to pour smoothly. Next time, I will thin it out with some water.
These pops tasted great — just like strawberry ice cream.
And with that, I’m on spring break! See y’all on Easter.
Today was another “forgot to drink” day, so I really needed a thirst-quenching pop:
This combo works well in muffins, so I figured it was worth a shot in ice pops.
Since I was once again doing a pop with simple ingredients, I decided to play with the visuals. To make this design, I propped the Zoku at a rather extreme (probably about 45 degrees) angle using a board book (hey, you use what you’ve got!). I used a small funnel to pour one tablespoon at a time into the molds. As each layer froze, I turned the Zoku around to angle it in the opposite direction.
They look like little flags. Or teeth.
I love the way these pops came out — you’d never guess it was the same stripe technique that I used to make these pops a few weeks back. And yet, the only differences were the angle of tilt and the fact that I alternated directions. I love how such a simple technique can make such cool looking ice pops.