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Photo by Rochell Van Deurzen

Popsicle Preoccupation

The best purchase I made this summer was a traditional popsicle mold. I tried a couple methods of freezing pops, and this one is definitely the best. Click here to see it, and read on for some ideas on how to make some out-of-the-ordinary pops.

I had been finding some pretty tasty-sounding recipes floating around online and decided to try some. Biggest lesson learned during the process: Only with the thickest popsicle mixes will the sticks stay where you put them. I found that the best way to insert the sticks is to wait until they’ve been in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or else the sticks sink to the bottom. See the lemon and chocolate pops in the photo with tiny stick handles? Yeah. I recommend waiting a bit before sticking them in.

The first batch was some alcoholic lemon-vanilla pops, some with blueberry and some without. For these, I mixed 16 oz of vanilla coconut yogurt (although you could sub regular yogurt for this) with 3 tbsp of coconut cream (skimmed from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk). Then I generously dumped in some Matteo’s Lemon Soprano, which is a creamy lemon liqueur I found at Goody Goody. Know that too much alcohol can prevent a popsicle from freezing all the way, but these had enough creaminess to keep them solid. The frozen blueberries were a nice touch, and I wished I’d put them in all the lemon pops.

Photo by Rochell Van Deurzen
Photo by Rochell Van Deurzen

I also went all out and made avocado popsicles. I will go ahead and say that these are way too avocadoey without lots of chocolate. I took this recipe to start with, but ended up having to add a lot more condensed milk to balance out the green flavor. Maybe my avocados weren’t ripe enough. But the thing that made them great was great chocolate. I used Sharffenberger chocolate to dip the pops in after they were frozen, and it makes a huge difference.

My favorite of the pops I’ve made were the vanilla and fig pops, pictured below. I started with this recipe and made very few changes. The figs I sliced a little thinner, since mine weren’t too ripe yet. The sour cream seems strange, but it does great things with the vanilla bean. I ate these for breakfast a few times and didn’t feel bad about it. It’s fruit, right??

Photo by Rochell Van Deurzen
Photo by Rochell Van Deurzen

The very obvious chocolate ones you see are just that: chocolate. Oh yeah – and wine. Tons of melted chocolate and some reduced sweet red wine. You really can’t even taste the wine so much; it’s death by chocolate, except you get a buzz if you eat them quickly. Win-win. Take about a cup of red wine and reduce it over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in about 1.5 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks until melted, then whisk in about 1.5 cups milk or milk alternative.

Another successful experiment was simple fruit and wine pops. I blended frozen blueberries and strawberries in the food processor, then mixed in some sweet white wine. Be careful – too much wine and they turn into slushies instead of popsicles. It should be a thick mash before you pour them into the molds.

Photo by Rochell Van Deurzen
Photo by Rochell Van Deurzen