Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spiced Plum Ice Pops

The idea for these came to me shortly after plum season last year (of course), so I've been sitting on this for the better part of a year. I fully expected to have to run through several iterations of this before I hit on the right ratios in the syrup and the right amount of plums, but I was pleasantly surprised by how happy I was with my first batch! (Can you imagine if I'd had to plow my way through countless ice pop "failures"? The horror.) In these pops, the spices serve to support the plum flavor, rather than overpowering it, exactly as I'd hoped. Plus, if you use pink- or red-fleshed plums, the ice pops take on a lovely deep pink hue. If you have a different combination of dried/ground and fresh/whole spices, feel free to mix and match - just adjust the amounts accordingly.

I do hope you make these - they're a snap to make and taste like summer. The taste of summer, incidentally, is why I haven't been posting much - I've been spending my time buried in summer produce! My CSA is keeping me busy, as are my weekly visits to the farmers market. And very soon, I will have my first tomato haul to add to the mix! In the meantime, I have plenty of herbs from my garden.

Oh, by the way, these have fruit in them, which means they are 100% fair game for breakfast.

Spiced Plum Ice Pops
Yield: 5-6 3-oz popsicles

Ice pops:
1 lb plums (I used a mix of black plums and teeny tiny sugar plums)
1-2 pinches ground nutmeg
1-2 pinches ground allspice
1/2 c spiced simple syrup (recipe below)

  1. Slice plums, peeling only if you (gasp) really don't like the skins (to be honest, peeling plums sounds like a nightmare, so good luck with that). Place in blender, add nutmeg, allspice, and syrup (feel free to adjust amount to taste), and blend until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze until solid, about 6 hours longer than you feel it should take.
Spiced simple syrup:
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
0.5-1 oz fresh ginger (to taste), peeled and sliced into thin coins
2 whole cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
  1. Place water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and small bubbles appear on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Remove pan from heat, add remaining ingredients, and cover. Steep until syrup is spiced to desired strength (this took about 10 minutes for me).
  3. Strain out solids and set aside 1/2 cup for the ice pops. You will have leftover syrup (it's tough to make simple syrup in smaller quantities than this), which can be used for cocktails or fancy homemade soda (or more ice pops, duh).

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