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Baby, It’s Hot Outside!

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This time of year, it’s impossible to open up Pinterest and not see a rainbow of popsicle recipes. However, if you’re like me, you just keep scrolling and pinning, honestly hoping to attempt what seems like something better left to those over-the-top frozen-pop-making moms. But they’re not that difficult to make, and just think how delighted your friends and family will be when you pop out an array of fruity, creamy, Instagram-perfect frozen treats on a stick. You’ll be the coolest thing on the block since the Kool-Aid mom.

To get started, you’ll need to consider the type of mold you want to use. If you don’t have any of those fancy popsicle molds, anything from Dixie® cups to loaf pans will work. A Dixie cup with a stick in it is a simple concept, but the loaf pan idea is easy if you just pour in your mixture, cover with plastic wrap, stick some sticks through it, freeze and cut into size with a hot knife. For this experiment, I hit my mom up for her vintage Tupperware® molds and used hoarded mini Play-Doh® containers along with the loaf pan.

There are two basic types of frozen pops: juice and cream. The juice can be any kind of fruit juice with or without fruit pieces. Add a little gelatin or food-grade glycerin for improved texture and to prevent large ice crystals from forming. Something like lemonade with berries makes a refreshing treat on a hot day.

The cream base is typically made with whipping cream, milk, yogurt, evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. From there, you can add anything you want from fruit to nuts and cookies and candy. Also keep in mind that cream bases usually are more of a soft set and should be eaten right away. Adding gelatin to these will keep them from melting as quickly.

The best part of this endeavor is playing around with ideas. The kids will have a blast brainstorming fun and unusual combinations. ■

 

Iced Tea with Citrus Pops

Ingredients
2 cups iced tea sweetened to preference

1 package powdered gelatin
Citrus slices

Instructions
Soften gelatin in cold tea for a few moments before bringing to a slight boil. Stir until dissolved and bring to room temperature. Place one or two citrus slices in molds and pour in just enough tea to anchor when frozen. Repeat until mold is full. Place wooden sticks or holders in before they are completely frozen. Dip mold in hot water to loosen.

 

Apricot Ricotta Frozen Pops

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup half-and-half, heavy cream, or evaporated milk
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
8 to 10 very ripe apricots or fruit in season

Instructions
Process all ingredients except fruit in blender until smooth. Divide fruit in half or cut into pieces and place one or two pieces in molds. Pour in enough of the cream mixture to cover fruit and freeze. Repeat until mold is full. Place wooden sticks or holders in before they are completely frozen. Dip mold in hot water to loosen and enjoy!