Friday, August 10, 2012

Cool Down with Homemade Popsicles

These are cheap, easy, and even more fun for children than going to the store. Children like strong, sweet juices like grape and cranberry for popsicles—but when kids are hot, anything will do. My little ones enjoy goat’s milk popsicles. Popsicle making is a nice way to use leftover juices from canned fruit, too.

You can use wooden sticks for handles and sturdy small bowls or cans for containers—work up a collection. Or buy popsicle molds; Tupperware and Back to Basics carry them. If you have a big family or lots of small friends, I recommend getting at least 2 molds so you can have one freezing while they are consuming the other. You can even make parfait popsicles by freezing a layer of one color and then a layer of another color. My plastic holders soon got lost or fell apart, but then we substituted sticks in a bowl or can and were fine. Fill the molds not quite full, insert your holder, and freeze.

Don’t let the gremlins pull the holders until you’re sure the center of the popsicle is solidly frozen and you have loosened the sides by running hot water over the back of the mold. Otherwise they might pull out the holder prematurely, leaving a hole that it won’t freeze back into. You don’t have to unmold all the popsicles at once. Just loosen as many as you need. Refill the emptied units and return to the freezer.

Puree 1 cup any kind of fruit or a mixture of fruit and mix with 1 cup water. Pour into your ice cube tray. When they are starting to freeze, add a wooden stick or toothpick to each section. 

Susan Staley was in Germany when she sent me this recipe. She said, “If your children love the Fudgsicle-type popsicle, you can easily make them. Just make up a batch of pudding and freeze it in your popsicle molds. They’re delicious and you can make different kinds beside chocolate. Butterscotch is very good. In fact, any flavor of pudding your children love hot, they’re bound to like cold in hot summer weather.”

You could juice pomegranates or barberries or red currants, or cook and strain quinces, or grate pineapple, or boil and pulp apples or rhubarb—whatever you have. Sweeten to taste, add lemon juice if the flavor needs it, and freeze.

Combine ¾ cup sugar and 2 cups water. Heat and boil 5 minutes. Cool. Add 1 cup orange juice, ½ cup lemon juice, and 2 bottles ginger ale. Freeze.

[Excerpted from the “Sugaring and Fruit Preservation” section in Chapter 7: Food Preservation. Additional recipes include: Root Beer Ice, Strawberry or Raspberry Ice, Frozen Fruits. Illustration copyright 1994 by Cindy Davis.]

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