A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Posts tagged ‘stripes’

Day 160 — Summer Stripe Ice Pops

Thanks to my Produce Box, I have a fridge full of fresh, local fruit. I have blueberries, peaches, and the last of this year’s strawberries. With this kind of bounty, a celebration was in order. And what’s more celebratory than an ice pop? (you know, except for cupcakes and champagne).

I pureed the strawberries and blueberries with a little sugar and water, and the peaches with a splash of lemonade (in the hope that the acid would keep them from browning). Then I just started to make layers.

As you can tell, I wasn’t going for precision here. I just poured my layers without measuring. And because they were so thick, the peach and the blueberry layers made a mess. But since this ice pop was more about celebrating flavors than about beauty, I don’t mind.

And the flavors here were lovely. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think ice pops made with fresh blueberries and strawberries taste better than those that start with frozen fruit. But I do think the fresh peaches were key. They tasted so good that I think I’ll be making a peach lemonade ice pop tomorrow.

Day 132 — Strawberry Pineapple Ice Pops

I found myself low on ingredients tonight, so today’s ice pop is a combination I otherwise might never have thought to use:

Once again, I wanted to try that “crammed with fruit” type of pop. As you’ll see, one of the big drawbacks of the Zoku is that the pops are large and their bases take up a lot of space, making it nearly impossible to put fillings between the stick and the walls of the molds. Still, once I poured a tiny bit of juice into the mold to get the pop started, I dropped as many minced strawberries as I could into the mold. I managed to get a lot — at least half of one of those hue strawberries in the photo.

The stick issue made for an interesting, vertically-stripe pop:

As to taste, I’m surprised we don’t see strawberry and pineapple in combination more often. The sweetness of the juice set off the strawberries perfectly, and the chunks of fruit elevated this well above a simple juice pop. An unexpected winner, in my opinion.

Day 49 — Cranberry Lemonade Ice Pops

My youngest child is almost six months old, and for the most part I’ve adjusted to being a mother of three. But there is no denying that my days are busier than they used to be, and one of the things I consistently find myself too busy to do is drink enough water. Often, dinner time will roll around and I’ll find myself desperate for a drink, then think back a realize all I’ve had that day was my morning coffee.

Today was one of those days. So when it came time to make today’s pop, all I really wanted was something that would help quench my thirst:

To make up for the simplicity of the ingredients, I decided to put to work all of the lessons I’ve learned so far about making layered pops:

Lesson One: Measure for even layers. For this pop, I decided to freeze my juices (and I use that term loosely, since I’m well aware that both of the beverages I used are actually mostly water and sugar, with a little juice thrown in for flavor) in one-teaspoon stripes.

Lesson Two: Find a neat way to pour. For this, I used the tiny black funnel I mentioned in an earlier post.

Lesson Three:  Be patient. Wait for one layer to freeze completely (or darn close to it) before pouring the next, so the layers stay clean.

Following all of those lessons meant this pop was somewhat more time consuming than usual (it took me a half an hour to make), but the result was great:

Neat, even, beautiful.

Not only was my pop pretty, but it was exactly what I needed tonight. I feel less parched already.

Day 34 — Peaches & Cream Ice Pops

During the winter, we go through a lot of frozen fruit in my house. Peaches are among my favorites, since they’re flavorful, they thaw fast and they don’t turn everything they touch purple. I like to mix them into yogurt, and if I’d had a chance to make pops today while the kids were awake, I’d have done that. But since I waited until after they went to sleep, I figured I could get away with a less-healthy version:

I pureed a handful of thawed peaches with a generous splash of lemonade, then used my basic vanilla recipe for the “cream” layers. As usual, I had some difficulty pouring the layers neatly until my husband dug through our junk drawer and found this:

We've lived in this house six years, and I have never noticed that we own a tiny little funnel.

These pops turned out cute. I’m glad I opted for several small layers, because that way I was able to get a little of each layer into each bite.

I love that the thickness of the peach puree gave me slightly slanted, tiger-ish stripes. They weren’t neat, but they did look interesting. Plus, they tasted great. I’m looking forward to trying more combinations of frozen fruit and cream.

Day 16 — Zebra Pops

We were out of the house all day today, and that originally meant that I was going to do a plain juice pop. But we got home even later than I expected, and it turned out that I wouldn’t be able to make today’s pop until after the kids went to bed. This meant two things: first, I had about 40 minutes while rocking the baby down to think up an idea for today, and (2) in the absence of kids hanging over my shoulders, I could attempt a more involved pop than usual. And so, zebra pops (yes, it took me 40 minutes to think of chocolate and vanilla striped ice pops.  It was a long day).

The ingredients in these are simple: half vanilla pudding (leftover from Day 14 and thinned out with milk), and half the basic chocolate recipe. I was hoping to get a taste similar to the chocolate-vanilla swirl pudding pops I loved as a kid.

Chocolate. Vanilla. Simple.

Since I had a little time to concentrate, I decided to work on pouring stripes again and to try another slanty pop. My first pour was a disaster, leaving the edge of each mold coated in vanilla.

The mess was a little more obvious in person.

The spout on my chocolate cup is more precise, so the second layer was a little nicer.

For the third layer, I decided to try to pipe the pudding in using my turkey baster. That worked slightly better, until I tried to take a photo of me using it and accidentally spilled the vanilla all over my mold. Oops.

watch out, genius!

By the fourth layer, I had twigged that it was much easier to pour into the higher half of the mold and let the mixture flow down to the lower part. I have no idea why it took me so long to figure it out, but once I did the pops started getting a little neater.

Visually, the final product was cool, though imperfect:

Imperfection. Oh, the shame!

Same pop, other side, You can see the mess from the first pour.

I need to work on a couple of things before I can make truly beautiful striped pops. First, I need to figure out a neat pouring solution so I don’t end up with splashes everywhere. Second, I need to start measuring how much base I use in each layer, because when I eyeball it, I end up with wildly uneven layers.
Still, even though they weren’t neat, the finished pops were kind of striking:

A herd of zebras!

These tasted about as great as you’d imagine a chocolate/vanilla pop would taste. I’m trying to save the two leftover pops for the kids, but I might not make it. After all, there’ll be another pop tomorrow. And what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Right?

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