Fresh Strawberry Popsicles – 2 ways

Fresh Strawberry Popsicles - 2 ways

I’ve been wanting to experiment with making my own popsicles for long time now but never had proper molds, until my birthday a few months ago.  Not only was I gifted 18 popsicle molds but also an amazing book on how to make them using fresh seasonal produce, called People’s Pops.

To jump right in I decided to start with 2 different strawberry flavors.  Yes, mainly because I love fresh strawberries, but also because I’ve found that while you can find strawberries at the farmers’ markets in LA most of the year, they really peak in the spring and early summer.

I was particularly inspired to feature strawberries when I laid my eyes on some beautiful rhubarb from Jimenez Family Farm at the Atwater Village Farmers’ Market this past Sunday.  Rhubarb is a strawberry’s best friend, most likely because of their famous combination in strawberry rhubarb pie.  The tartness of the rhubarb and delicate texture goes so nicely with the subtle acid of the strawberries.

I cannot tell you how hard it is to find rhubarb at the markets here in southern California.  Having worked at markets for over 3 years I would get countless customers pleading with me to tell them where they could find it, or more often, confidently confusing red Swiss chard for the fresh rhubarb they wish it was.

The other famous combination I wanted to toy with was strawberries with balsamic vinegar.  It’s classic in Italian cuisine and a combo I became particularly obsessed with last summer when I tried Heidi Swanson’s Roasted Strawberries recipe, which pairs the two along with some maple syrup, olive oil, sea salt, and port wine.

It saves heaps of prep and clean up time when you make these recipes together and would work great for a big group of people – maybe a pool party or a barbeque?  But they are also a nice simple dessert to be enjoyed outside while it’s still a bit sunny after dinner.  Mix up a batch of your own and let me know how it goes!  I’ll be trying out new pop recipes all summer long…

 People's Pops

 

[Making Simple Syrup: the basic recipe for simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, if you add 2/3rd cup water with 2/3rd cup sugar that should make about 1 cup of simple syprup.  Add the water and sugar to a sauce pan and heat very gently just to dissolve the sugar, not to boil or cook down.  It’s a good idea to make a big batch to have on hand if you’re making several popsicles, but keep any unused simple syrup in the fridge.  The book recommends using organic cane sugar (aka: dehydrated cane syrup,) so that’s what I used.  But I do plan on experimenting with honey, maple syrup and maybe even coconut sugar in the future.]

 Rhubarb

Strawberry & Rhubarb Popsicles
1/2 pound of rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
10 ounces (2 and 1/2 cups) strawberries, hulled
1 cup simple syrup (see above)
2 tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice

 

Once the rhubarb is prepped, add about 1/2 inch of water into a heavy non-reactive pan (I used my ceramic coated Le Creuset) and heat up on high.  Add in the rhubarb and let cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until some of the liquid has cooked off and the rhubarb has become soft.  With the spoon, break up any larger pieces of rhubarb and remove any that seem to be too tough or stringy.  Once done cooking this should yield 1 cup of rhubarb puree.

 Rhubarb and Strawberry Puree

The strawberries on the other hand do not get cooked, as it breaks them down too much and makes them lose their fresh flavor.  Once hulled they are simply pureed in a food processor.  The same technique is used for the second recipe, so I pureed a big batch of strawberries all at once.  You’ll need 1 cup of strawberry puree for this recipe.

Mix together the rhubarb puree, strawberry puree, simple syrup and lemon juice in a large bowl with a pouring spout.  Portion the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze.

The final flavor of these pops just scream springtime to me, so fresh, light and the perfect combination of sweet and tart.  Who needs a pie when you can have a pop!

Makes 10 pops

 Fresh Strawberries

Strawberry & Balsamic Vinegar Popsicles
Juice over 1 pound (4 cups) strawberries, hulled
3/4 cup simple syrup (see above)
1 tablespoon freshly squeeze lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, roughly
 

Even simpler than the above recipe, this one only requires pureeing the strawberries, then mixing all the ingredients together.  For the amount of strawberries called for in this recipe it should make about 2 cups of puree.  As I said above, you can make the strawberry puree for both recipes all at once.

Once the strawberry puree is ready, mix it together with the simple syrup and lemon juice.  The balsamic vinegar should be added in slowly while you continually taste the mixture, this is because each vinegar isn’t equally as pungent.  I found I preferred just a bit more vinegar than suggested.

Pour the mixture into your molds and freeze well.

I just love the final result of this recipe.  While it’s a very simple strawberry recipe, the balsamic vinegar brings out such complex flavors with almost a savoriness.

Makes 10 pops

 Popsicle Molds

Comments

3 Responses to “Fresh Strawberry Popsicles – 2 ways”
  1. YUM! What gorgeous pictures and nice easy recipes. Can’t wait to make these this weekend with the organic strawberries we’ve been getting weekly at our favorite Sunday market.

  2. Aunt Louise says:

    Sounds wonderful!

Leave A Comment