Summer on ice: Create popsicles for a sweet way to cool off

Published 8:00 am Sunday, May 30, 2021

Remember those days of childhood when a cold, fruity, lickable Popsicle could cure all of summer’s woes? Now you can recall those simpler times by making your own sugary snack.

Better yet, with all of the summer’s delicious fruits in season, forget those neon pops from the corner store. If you are adventurous, add a little alcohol for an adult version of the traditional child’s treat. Use the recipes below as a start to creating your own cold concoctions:

Choose your method

The easiest way to make frozen pops is with the plastic molds that you can find in most grocery or dollar stores.

If you don’t have those, just pour the mix into four to six paper cups and stick them in the freezer. After an hour when the mixture has solidified enough, insert a wooden stick into each cup.

To remove the pops from their molds, run them under cold water for a few seconds and pull.

For those who cannot wait for a frozen fix, there are frozen pop makers that create pops as quick as 10 to 15 minutes. Whichever way you choose, have fun, experiment and lick to your heart’s content.

Choose your flavor

Start with your favorite flavors of summer strawberry, peach, watermelon, even the childhood memories of a creamsicle on a hot summer day. Don’t stop there. Experiment and add new and different flavors to your frozen pop portfolio.

Any summer fruit tastes heavenly with a little lemon or lime juice, sugar and a fresh garden herb such as mint or basil.

Combine flavors. Mix and match. Peach and strawberry. Watermelon and pomegranate.

And if you are looking to put an adult spin on this summer treat, add alcohol. Turn your favorite cocktail into a “poptail.”

At right are three recipes to get you started.

Creamsicle

Whisk together 2⁄3 cup whole milk, 1 1⁄3 cups orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest,  3 tablespoons sugar and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla until the sugar dissolves.

Freeze until ready.

Strawberry-Peach Vodka Collins

Purée 10 quartered and hulled strawberries and place three teaspoons in the bottom of each frozen pop form.

Purée four sliced and pitted medium-sized peaches in a blender. Heat peach purée with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan under medium heat. Bring to a boil for five minutes. Add 12 ounces of tonic water and two ounces of vodka. (If you do not want alcohol, substitute grape juice.) Pour peach mixture on top of strawberry mixture in frozen pop molds.

Freeze until ready.

Strawberry and basil

Purée 2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1/4 cup basil leaves in blender. Add water as need to get the machine going.

Pour into frozen pop molds and freeze until ready.