Ice pops are among the easiest things you can make with your kids, and are a perfect treat to enjoy during these dog days of summer. They are also incredibly versatile, offering those with a creative bent ample opportunity to design a custom pop of just about any flavor combination you can imagine. Muppet and I had fun the other night making these pops with ingredients we had on-hand, but all the while she was dreaming up a kiwi-strawberry combo that we'll be making next.
Think of the recipe in three parts, with each providing a layer of flavor or texture that can be mixed and matched at will. The first piece of the puzzle is a simple syrup. Here you can choose just to make a plain sweetening syrup, or infuse it with spices or herbs as we did by using fresh basil in our recipe. Next comes a choice of fruit puree which will be the main player in the game. As we had some frozen purees itching to be used, our passion fruit juice came straight from a tub in the freezer, but most of the time you'll need to make your own puree by sending some fresh fruit through a food processor or blender. Keep it simple by using one fruit, or make it more complex by combining a few favorites.
If you want creamy ice pops you can also add some greek style yogurt to your puree. Finally, you can decide (or not) to blend in some other ingredients like fresh or dried chunks of fruit, a few nuts, or as we did here, some roasted coconut to add another flavor dimension and a bit of texture.
Generally speaking, a ratio of 1/2 cup simple syrup, 2 cups of fruit puree, and no more that 1/2 a cup of a blend-in will yield pretty tasty pops. If you use yogurt, add maybe 1/2 a cup and reduce the fruit puree by the same amount. Keep this ratio in mind and have at it. Get a little crazy with your combinations and let us know when you create a masterpiece!
Cheers – Steve
- 2 cups passion fruit juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 12 large, fresh basil leaves, sliced
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
- Make the basil simple syrup by placing the suger, water and basil in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain out the basil leaves and place the syrup in a mixing bowl.
- Add the fruit juice to the syrup and stir in the coconut.
- Pour the mix into prepared pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.