Food

DIY Popsicles | Farm Fresh Strawberry | Peach & Bourbon | Blackberry Yogurt & Honey | Vanilla Sugar Banana & Fudge

Last year  I came across a cook book from a place called People’s Pops in New York City. Their cookbook is filled with beautiful photos and a variety of easy recipes for DIY popsicles. As intrigued as I was, it was the end of fall and the thought of making a bunch of popsicles in the middle of winter didn’t really appeal. I shelved the idea for the summer and hoped the book would still be available.

Early this summer Chet mentioned how satisfying a popsicle would be. He was ready to run to the store and get a giant bundle of those plastic sleeved icee-pops. I remembered the popsicle book and told him that if he was willing to wait I had something ten times better in mind. He agreed reluctantly, and I went back to the store to see if the book was still there.

I was disappointed to find that the book was no longer in stock. They did however, have popsicle molds and sticks. I put them in my cart and browsed the store to soothe my disappointment. (because who goes to World Market and only looks for what they need?) The heavens were aligned that day, for in the clearance section the familiar colors of a lone People’s Pops cook book caught my eye. SCORE! Eight bucks!

Armed with my new book and popsicle gear I was ready to give it a whirl. I had recently picked some strawberries with my friend Katie and her two sweet little girls. Thankfully, the People’s Pop cookbook had a recipe for that. Super easy, and oh my goodness SO tasty. First batch came out beautifully. Chet gobbled them up and demanded more. I was out of fresh picked berries so I went out to a farm stand and got more and made another batch which was equally delicious.

Feeling good about the strawberry recipe, I decided to try two others from the cook book. I started with the Peach & Bourbon. Found out that the authors of the book aren’t joking when they say to be careful with alcohol ratio. They didn’t freeze very well, so you’ll find in the recipe below I adjusted a bit to compensate. This pop had great flavor, but strong so for those of you who are less inclined to booze up your foods, perhaps skip this one. Next I tried the blackberry, yogurt & honey.  I would say it was more like a smoothie pop, with a creamier texture than the strawberry ones. This was Chet’s favorite of all the popsicles I made. In fact, just yesterday he asked if I would make more.

Making popsicles was way easier than I thought it would be. That is the best part, I think. You can go by the book’s recipes, or start to think up your own flavor combinations! It is also a great way to use up any aged fruit that you might have otherwise pitched. I decided to try making up my own recipe, inspired by my favorite childhood ice cream treat which was a banana fudge twist pop. I’m pretty sure they don’t make those anymore. It took a few times to figure out how to layer the flavors in the right ratio, but in the end I think it worked out well.

Enjoy the recipes below and if you think you’d like to try to make your own popsicles I would highly recommend buying the People’s pop cook book! It is inexpensive and provides so many different varieties of recipes of varying difficulties. For those of you in New York, or if you visit, stop by their shop and let me know how a real People’s Pop tastes!

Popsicle gear needed:

  • -At least one popsicle form (I bought two so I could have multiple flavors going at once)
  • -popsicle sticks
  • -People’s Pop cook book

Simple Sugar: (used in almost all of the pops)

  • -2/3 (5oz) cup organic cane sugar
  • -2/3 (5fl oz) cup water

Makes one cup (8fl oz)

Combined sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is transparent. Remove from heat and let cool.

Tips for Storing/Eating: 

Before removing the pops cut 6” or so squares of wax paper to wrap each pop. This will prevent the pops from sticking to one another. Place all wrapped pops in a freezer zip-lock and store in the freezer for all to enjoy!

Run lukewarm water over the form and gently pull on the stick until the pop slides out. Be sure not to have the water too hot, or to run it for too long or your pop will start to melt! Especially for those that don’t freeze as well to begin with.

You can remove all of the popsicles from the form, or leave them and take out as you go. I tend to leave them in the form if I have room in my freezer. It helps me to not devour them all, since getting them out of the form is harder than opening a bag!


Farm Fresh Strawberry Pops:

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  • 4 cups fresh strawberries
  • 7 fl oz simple syrup (see above for recipe)
  • 2 TB lemon juice

Puree strawberries and add other ingredients.

Once all ingredients have been combined fill popsicle form to the top of each well, being cautious to not exceed the form line. If you do your popsicle will not have room to expand and the lid will not secure properly for freezing. It also makes it MUCH harder to remove! Place the lid onto of form, and insert popsicle stick into each of the forms. Try not to push the stick in too far, or you won’t have enough to pull them out.

Freeze for at least 5 hours, I left mine overnight.

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Peach & Bourbon Pops:

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  • 1/4 cup Knob Creek bourbon whiskey (original recipe called for 1/3 cup)
  • 1.25 lbs very very ripe Georgia peaches
  • 6 fl oz simple syrup (see above for recipe)
  • 2 TB lemon juice

Cut up peaches taking care to remove the pit and any abrasive edges. I left the skins on to get more color in my pop. Transfer cut peaches to a food processor, pulse until the fruit is blended. You can leave it thicker or pulse until it is more pureed. Add the simple syrup, whiskey, and lemon juice.

Once all ingredients have been combined fill popsicle form to the top of each well, being cautious to not exceed the form line. If you do your popsicle will not have room to expand and the lid will not secure properly for freezing. It also makes it MUCH harder to remove! Place the lid onto of form, and insert popsicle stick into each of the forms. Try not to push the stick in too far, or you won’t have enough to pull them out.

Freeze for at least 5 hours, I left mine overnight.

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Blackberry, Yogurt & Honey Smoothie Pops:

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  • 3 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 c organic yogurt (I used Greek Gods brand honey blueberry)
  • 4 TB honey
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 5 fl oz simple syrup (see above for recipe)

Puree berries in a food processor. Strain fruit juice from seeds using a fine mesh colander. Add yogurt, honey, simple syrup, until well mixed. Taste and if needed add just a bit more yogurt. Fill to the top of each well, being cautious to not exceed the form line. If you do your popsicle will not have room to expand and the lid will not secure properly for freezing. It also makes it MUCH harder to remove! Place the lid onto of form, and insert popsicle stick into each of the forms. Try not to push the stick in too far, or you won’t have enough to pull them out.

Freeze for at least 5 hours, I left mine overnight.

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Vanilla Sugar Banana & Fudge Pudding Pops:

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  • 3-4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 TB vanilla sugar (purchase here or here)
  • 1 box of instant chocolate fudge pudding mix

Mash bananas together, I used a potato masher to make it go faster. Add vanilla sugar and taste. If the hint of vanilla isn’t apparent, add a bit more sugar. Spoon the banana mixture into each well of the popsicle form, not to exceed about a half an inch. Gently tap the form against your prep surface to remove air bubbles and allow the banana layer to settle.

According to the instructions on the box, make your chocolate fudge pudding. Working quickly, spoon a layer of the pudding on top of the banana layer in your popsicle form. Gently tap the form again to settle and remove air bubbles. Repeat this process until your popsicle form is filled with beautiful striations of banana and fudge.

Fill to the top of each well, being cautious to not exceed the form line. If you do your popsicle will not have room to expand and the lid will not secure properly for freezing. It also makes it MUCH harder to remove! Place the lid onto of form, and insert popsicle stick into each of the forms. Try not to push the stick in too far, or you won’t have enough to pull them out.

Freeze for at least 5 hours, I left mine overnight.

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