Peach Pops

Peach Pops

{ Photos by Galie Photography }

I am very fortunate — I can hardly count all the ways. For this post, let me call out just a few:

  • I live in Virginia, where the climate suits me well;
  • I live in Leesburg, where we have a thriving farmers’ market; and
  • I live among some wonderful neighbors.

Leesburg has grown tremendously since our family moved here 16 years ago, but it remains a small town in the most important ways. When we walk downtown on the weekends, we greet most of the shopkeepers by name — and we return to a neighborhood where everyone looks out for each other.

Our neighbors Bob and Stephanie are perfect examples. They would restore even a curmudgeon’s faith in humanity. Here’s a text from Bob:

Bob's text

How cool is that? A minute later he was at the fence holding a bounty of peaches.

I had planned to make some mini pies with the peaches, giving one back to Bob and Stephanie, but it was a busy week and I didn’t have time. Instead, I made these super easy Peach Pops (most of which were eaten up by my daughter and her friends).

I have made peach pops before, but this time I added a few dried apricots. They really amp up the flavor and help the texture of the pops: A good addition.

Next time Bob is mowing the lawn, or Stephanie is tending her dahlias, I’ll offer them a pop that tastes like Virginia, and the season, and friendship.

 

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Peach Pops
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Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 1lb 2oz ripe peaches, pitted
  • 1 cup simple syrup (=1/2 cup granulated sugar + ½ cup water boiled together and cooled)
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ~5 dried apricots chopped up
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut up the peaches. Leave the skin on if you wish for a flecked look in the finished pops (or for smoother pops, peel the peaches first).
  2. Put all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds
  4. Freeze for 4-6 hours until solid.

 

Raspberry Pops

Raspberry Pops

I can read your mind.

You want something cool and refreshing — a sweet treat that makes you feel like a kid.

But you also feel a bit guilty, because you want to be healthy.

Oh, you’re going to love these.

Raspberry pops are extremely easy to make, and they’re delicious. Plus they’re healthy: Fresh raspberries are a “super food” packed with antioxidants and fiber; they may even help with weight loss.

Make a quick batch tonight and have one for breakfast tomorrow morning. You’ll feel like you’re living the life — because, with these, you are.

Raspberry Pops
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Serves: 7
 
You can skip the liqueur in these if you wish, but it does enhance the flavor. It's worth the effort of finding it.
Ingredients
  • 9 oz fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Framboise (or other raspberry liqueur)
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
  2. Optional: Force through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard the seeds you've strained out.
  3. Pour liquid into pop molds and freeze for at least 3 hours until completely firm.

 

Better-Than-Fudgsicles Pops

Better-Than-Fudgsicles Pops

It is already in the high 80’s here in Northern Virginia. We get every kind of weather here! Over the just-past winter, we had so much snow and cold, I felt like I was back in New England. Remember how they shut schools and even cancelled exams over it? As soon as the temperatures rose, a crack appeared in the windshield of my car and I started wondering if maybe the temperatures vary by greater extremes here than most places in the US.  I’m sure keeping my car in a garage would also help, but if it’s -20 degrees Farenheit one month and potentially about 108 degrees a few months later, that’s a lot of stress on windshields…and people!..etc.

Well, I got the windshield repaired in time for our first heat wave anyway. All of this rambling is really just to say that while I do love to hang out by the oven much of the year, there are times when no one wants to bake. It’s time for something else.

It’s time for pops!

The frozen pops craze started sweeping the nation a few years ago and I can see why: (1) They are generally pretty easy to make, (2) They are easy to store and keep for a while since they are frozen, (3) If you want to be healthy, you can use local fruit etc. and make something that is delicious, nutritious, and fits with your food philosophy, (4) Much like the cupcake craze, pops can at once be a happy reminder of your childhood and an opportunity for each of us to be a “connoisseur” passing our judgement as experts in this realm. What fun!

I started making pops at home and I have a few good recipes I’ll share here for use on days when it’s just too darn hot. Let’s start with some that are chocolate-y-licious…

 

Better-Than-Fudgsicles Pops
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Serves: 7 regular sized pops
 
So easy and so good!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup good quality Dutch process cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan, stir together the water, corn syrup and sugar. Bring to a boil.
  2. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the cocoa and salt, then finally the vanilla.
  3. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then pour it into pop molds and let chill for about 8 hours or overnight.