Summer may not be officially here, but our weather has officially changed from cool, spring breezes to hot sun and enough humidity to turn us all into walking puddles. But, it is this weather which makes cold treats all the more refreshing and delicious.
Last night we had our monthly Daisy meeting. Our meeting was to be informal, with games and running themselves silly. I thought fruit Popsicles would be a healthy and fun treat for the girls. (Unfortunately, the pops didn’t completely freeze by meeting time. Apparently, the freezer was closed enough that it didn’t beep, but open enough that it was letting cold air escape.)
Whole fruit popsicles
5-7 large oranges, freshly squeezed (or store-bought, pure orange juice)
Zest of 2 oranges
Assortment of your favorite fruit
I used: blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, raspberries and blackberries
Juice and zest your oranges. 5 large oranges yielded about 2 1/2 cups of juice. If you don’t want pulp in your juice, pour the juice, through a strainer, into a measuring cup or any container that will make pouring the juice easy. Place the juice in the refrigerator while you prepare your other ingredients. This will make the freezing process faster and easier.
Chop fruit, like strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple, into a large dice. Try to cut your fruit into equal size pieces. This will allow for even freezing and make it easier to eat the popsicles later.
Side note: If you’re using fresh pineapple, (which is infinitely yummier than canned) and don’t know how to break it down, here are instructions. Don’t feel daunted. It’s easier than you think.
Stand the pineapple back up. The round spot in the middle is the tough, fibrous core. Cut the sides of the pineapple flesh off in four sections, using the core as your guide to where to place your knife.
Gently stir all your fruit and orange zest together to combine.
Spoon fruit into your chosen vessel. I used large Dixie cups and plastic champagne flutes, which you can buy at party supply stores. I filled the Dixie cups approximately half-full with fruit and the flutes 3/4 full. Don’t fill them completely full. You need to leave room for juice and expansion when they begin freeze.
Fill cups with juice until the fruit is just covered. If you’re using champagne flutes, you may insert your stick of choice. I uses plastic cocktail stirrers, as they were what I had on hand and were long enough for the flute.
Place cups on a baking sheet with sides, (in case of spills) and place the tray in the freezer. After approximately 1 hour, the liquid should be frozen enough to hold sticks in place. Place sticks in cups and finish freezing, approximately 2-3 more hours.
Remove popsicles from cups/flutes. With the cups, I was able to push on the bottom with my thumb to dislodge them. If your popsicles don’t slide out of their cups/flutes easily, set them/lay them down in a dish filled with 2 inches of warm water. The pops should slide of out their containers, with some coaxing, after several seconds. Don’t let them thaw for too long, or you’ll have juice again.
I loved these pops. They’re sweet and tangy and slightly sour. I love that they don’t taste at all sugary and cloyingly sweet. The chunks of fruit give it texture, as they are easy to chew, but not mushy. The flavors mingle together in perfect harmony, but also stand out from each other. With each bite, you can distinguish a sweet, chewy pineapple or a tangy burst of blackberry.
As for storage, wrap each pop in plastic wrap, then place the pops in a freezer-safe zip top bag.
I’m eager to make more. Perhaps strawberry basil pops….