apricot cream pops

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It’s super late in the season for apricots, but so long as they’re at the markets, I’ll be buying. I’ve probably mentioned that I have a teensy obsession with apricots. It is what it is.

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Back in June, I made my annual batch of apricot jam. And I must say it is my favorite of all the jams I’ve made this summer. I seriously contemplated a second batch, but instead opted to go the route of frozen treats. I love the idea of extending the life of seasonal produce and I’ve recently come to the realization that freezing is a wonderful alternative to canning. Rather than just freezing sliced apricots, I decided a frozen fruit bar needed to happen before the end of the season.

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This recipe comes from the People’s Pops. I became a fan after having their rhubarb cayenne pop the last time I was in New York. Since then, they’ve released a book, which I made sure to add to my collection.

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While I most definitely enjoy an all-fruit frozen fruit bar, I think everything gets just a little more exciting with a swirl of cream. Lately, I’ve been crazy about Straus Creamery heavy cream – it is some rich, flavorful stuff. It turns a cup of mediocre coffee into an event.  And a little goes a long way. So I couldn’t help but throw a few splashes of that Straus goodness into the mix. Apricots + cream + orange blossom water = perfection. Life is short, treat yo self.

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apricot cream pops 

from People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell, & Joel Horowitz

makes 10 pops

1-1/2 pounds apricots, halved and pitted 

2/3 cup cane sugar 

2/3 cup water

1-2 teaspoons orange blossom water 

1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Pour about 1/2 inch of water into a heavy, nonreactive saucepan and add the apricots. Stew the apricots over medium heat until the skins and flesh have softened, 20-25 minutes.

While the apricots are cooking, combine the cane sugar with 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is transparent. Turn of the heat and let cool. This makes 1 cup of simple syrup.

Using an emersion blender or food processor, puree the apricots, skins and all. Feel free to leave the puree somewhat chunky. You should have about 2-1/4 cups of puree.

Transfer the apricot puree  to a bowl or measuring pitcher with a spout and add 3/4 cup of the simple syrup. Stir until the mixture is well incorporated. Taste the mixture – it should be sweet and slightly tart. Add the orange blossom water bit by bit, tasting as you go. It should be fragrant but not overpowering.

Pour 1 scant tablespoon of heavy cream into each of the ice pop molds, letting the cream run down the sides of the mold as you pour. Pour apricot mixture into the molds, leaving a little bit of room a the top for the mixture to expand. Inset sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold and transfer to plastic bags for storage or serve at once.

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ginger cayenne rhubarb ice pops

It’s finally beginning to feel like summer around here. Barbecues, sandals, sundresses, sunscreen, sunburn. It’s warm. It’s sunny. I love it. I think this calls for frozen treats.

I might’ve mentioned a few months back that I was having quite a time finding rhubarb around here. So when I finally spotted some, I bought about three pounds – I had a few projects in mind. Long story short, my original plan didn’t really work out. But I still had some rhubarb to play with. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it; I wanted rhubarb ice pops.

When I visited Chelsea Market in May, I was totally overstimulated. There were infused oils and flavored vinegars and lobster rolls and bakeries galore. And there was also the newly opened People’s Pops counter, where they slang their shave ice and ice pops made from local produce. I almost left without checking it out, but I was thirsty and the place across the way had run out of coconut water. So I jumped on the wagon and left Chelsea Market with a ginger-cayenne rhubarb ice pop. It was superb – sweet and tart with a kick from the ginger and a little lip-tingle from the cayenne; very refreshing. It was the best damn pop I’ve had in a long time. I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

Which brings us back to my surplus of rhubarb. I knew I wanted to re-create the ice pop I had in New York, so I started to do a little research. And then I found a recipe for the People’s Pops’ rhubarb ice pops. The recipe didn’t include ginger or cayenne, so I did a little improvising. And the pops were perfect – cool and creamy and a little bit spicy; I was totally pleased with the results. There is something so very satisfying about making your own ice pops. I’m ready for more.

ginger cayenne rhubarb ice pops

adapted from New York Magazine Online

makes 8-10 3-ounce ice pops

1 pound rhubarb

4 ounces water, plus more to cover rhubarb

4 ounces cane sugar

1  one-inch piece of ginger, cut into thick slices

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon  cayenne pepper

2-1/2 ounces heavy cream

Wash and chop the rhubarb into one-inch pieces. Place rhubarb in a wide-bottomed, nonreactive pot, and add approximately 1 inch of water, or enough to cover the rhubarb. Cover the pot, and cook over medium heat until the rhubarb breaks down into a lumpy purée, about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the purée from its juice, and reserve both.

In a small pot, combine 4 ounces of water with the cane sugar. Add the sliced ginger. Gently heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from burner, cover, and let ginger steep in the syrup for 10 minutes.  Remove ginger from the syrup and mince.

In a pitcher, combine the rhubarb purée and the ginger syrup. Adjust sweetness—keeping in mind that some sweetness will dissipate upon freezing—by adding some of the reserved rhubarb juice. Save remaining juice for another use. Stir in the minced ginger and cayenne pepper. Stir in the heavy cream until completely incorporated. Pour mixture into ice-pop molds, and freeze overnight.