Fruit Pop Basics
PREP TIME: 10 to 15 minutes, plus at least 3 hours to freeze
MAKES: 6 to 8 pops
NOTES: Use juice bar or pop molds with a ¼- to 1/3-cup capacity. Cookware and hardware stores are selling many new models this year. Beyond the widely available standard molds that we used for the pops at right, we had fun with Cuisipro’s Rocket Pop molds ($14 for a set of six; www.kitchenshop.com or 888/834-2511), which have individual containers that lift out.
1. Pour fruit mixture (recipes below) into 6 to 8 juice bar molds (see notes). Attach covers firmly and insert sticks, leaving 1½ to 2 inches of each sticking out. Set molds in freezer, making sure they’re level and upright, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours, or up to 2 weeks.
2. To unmold, run warm water over the molds up to the rim, just until pops are released from sides, 5 to 15 seconds. Remove the covers and pull out the pops.
To create two-tone pops, make two different recipes and use twice as many molds. Pour one mixture into all the molds and freeze until firm to the touch on top, about 45 minutes, then pour the second mixture over the first, and freeze completely.
In a blender, whirl 3½ cups rinsed, drained blackberries until smooth. Push through a fine strainer into a 1-quart glass measure; discard seeds. Add ½ cup apple juice, 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (to taste), and 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom to purée; stir until sugar is dissolved.
In a blender, whirl 3 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches, ¾ cup canned peach nectar, 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon almond extract until smooth.
In a blender, whirl 2 cups rinsed, hulled strawberries until smooth. Push through a fine strainer into a 1-quart glass measure; discard seeds. Return berry purée to blender and whirl in ½ cup light sour cream, 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar (to taste), and 2 teaspoons lemon juice until smooth.
In a blender, whirl 1¼ cups mango chunks (about 1 in., from 1 lb. fruit), ¾ cup canned coconut milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste), and 1 tablespoon lime juice until smooth.
In a blender, whirl 3 cups rinsed, drained raspberries until smooth. Push through a fine strainer into a 1-quart glass measure; discard seeds. Add 2/3 cup orange juice and 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar (to taste) to berry purée; stir until sugar is dissolved.