We’re always extremely excited to see strawberries arrive at the farmers’ markets, but by mid-June, when we’re suffering from whatever the equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome is that one gets from hulling strawberries, we’re even more psyched to see them go. Of course, as soon as they’re gone, then we miss them.
Strawberries are incredibly variable in flavor, so seek out the freshest, most delicious ones. Water-bloated, flavorless strawberries will inevitably lead to icy, flavorless pops. Choose only berries that are fully red, keep them out of the sun, and use them soon after purchasing them. Wash them quickly in cold water (don’t let them soak), and drain them well before hulling them. Strawberries benefit from a touch of lemon juice to prop up their weak natural acidity.
In addition to the flavor combinations recommended here, consider pairing strawberries with violet, buttermilk, Cognac, tequila, or anything else that suits your fancy.
The simplest pop in this book is nonetheless just as delicious as some of the more sophisticated ones, although the texture tends to be somewhat icy. Using frozen strawberries exacerbates this problem, so use fresh if you can find them. It goes without saying that in a recipe this naked, the better the berries, the better the pop.
MAKES 10 POPS
Just over 1 pound (4 cups) strawberries, hulled
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 fl oz) simple syrup (page 7)
2 tablespoons (1 fl oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Purée the strawberries in a food processor. You should have about 2 cups (16 fl oz) of purée.
Transfer the puréed strawberries to a bowl or measuring pitcher with a pouring spout and add the simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir well to combine and taste; the mixture should be quite sweet and taste bright. Adjust as necessary.
Pour the mixture into your ice pop molds, leaving a little bit of room at the top for the mixture to expand. Insert sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold and transfer to plastic bags for storage or serve at once.
2/3 cup (5 oz) organic cane sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) water
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is transparent. Turn off the heat and let cool. Add any spices before the mixture starts to simmer; add any herbs only after you’ve turned off the heat. Store plain and infused syrups in sealed containers in the fridge.
makes 1 cup (8 fl oz)
“All you need is an ice-pop mold and sticks, a food processor and some simple syrup, and your summer will thank you.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Power to the People’s Pop! These ice pops are my favorite food on a stick.”