When it comes to summer treats, going DIY with ice pops is almost effortless, and lets you cut the sugar, intensify the fruit, and pump up the flavor. Exotic add-ins like herbs and chiles make pops sophisticated enough for grown-ups—but still satisfying for the kid in you. For these recipes, all you need is a blender, a few molds, and a little room in your freezer.
Get ‘Em Into Shape
- Molds and materials can be found at most large kitchen retailers. Some molds come with reusable plastic sticks, while others require old-school disposable wooden ones.
- Squeeze pops are back—and you can use these recipes to make them. Look for disposable plastic zip-top tubes or reusable, washable silicone molds. Let the heat of your hands loosen the frozen pop from the mold, and squeeze it out bite by bite.
- For a fast pop (ready in 6 to 7 minutes!), try quick-freezing molds, available from Zoku at www.zokuhome.com. Just remove the small frozen base unit from the freezer, place it on the counter, and pour in your mixture. Voilà … (almost instant) pops!
Make Your Pops the Tops
- Frozen fruit works best because it’s been slightly broken down by the freezing and thawing process and is juicier than pulpy fresh fruit. When you defrost it, use all the liquid that comes out.
- Low-sugar pops are more likely to stick to their molds. To prevent the problem, make sure the insides of the molds are scrupulously dry before adding the mixture.
- Clear a space in your freezer before you make the pops to ensure they’ve got good real estate so the liquid freezes evenly. One trick: Place a small cutting board over frozen items to create a flat surface for the molds.
- Don’t cheat the timing given in the instructions. You’re likely to pull the stick out, leaving the pop stranded in the mold, sad and alone.
- A quick rinse with cool water is usually enough to loosen pops from the mold. Don’t use warm or hot water—melt alert!