My second grader, always imaginative in the kitchen, has asked to make ice pops repeatedly ever since we put the mold away last summer. A scientist through and through, he’s hoping to see if we can use club soda and make popsicles that fizz. We’ll try that soon, but for now I stuck with a familiar method. I returned to my own recipe for watermelon cucumber mint paletas and my recipe for tomato-basil peach paleta published by The Washington Post to review the method. I was pleasantly surprised to learn from myself! I dreamed up these creamy pops to take advantage of the beautiful peaches that are finally in season. You don’t have to like coconut to enjoy these pops. The coconut flavor is incredibly subtle, adding just a hint of creamy complexity to the buttermilk base.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (full fat)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pound ripe fresh peaches (about 4 medium, see tips), pitted and chopped
In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat. Set aside to cool.
If you will be using wooden sticks, set them in warm water to help keep them in place while the pops are setting.
Meanwhile, in the order listed, place the buttermilk, coconut milk, honey, lemon juice and chopped peaches (skin and all, y’all!) in a blender. Add the cooled sugar syrup mixture and blend on high until very smooth.
If using traditional freeze-and-set ice pops molds, like mine pictured right, pour the peach mixture into molds, filling them almost to the top to allow a little room for expansion. Remove the sticks from the warm water and place them so they end about 2/3 the way down the mold. Snap the lip into place, then set mold in the coldest part of your freezer. Allow pops to freeze for 4 to 6 hours before serving. If using a instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
To unmold the pops, run the mold under warm water for a few seconds. They should slide right out of the molds. Store pops in freezer bags or in a sealed freezer-safe container. They will last a week in the freezer.
Enjoy on your favorite porch, ceiling fans optional.
Since I first started making my own ice pops, instant ice pop makers have become popular. I use a standard 2.5 oz. pop mold, which looks like this, but you can use any mold. I unearthed my mold to find one of the ice pop holders missing. I didn’t let that stop me. In this recipe, I outlined how to make pops without a mold. Look at the bottom in quick tips #2 for some ideas.
I used sugar in the raw because it’s what I had on hand. Use plain old granulated if that’s what you’ve got. It’s all sweet and it all works.
I don’t like to wait for peaches to ripen. Luckily, I have found a way to speed the process along. Place hard peaches in a brown paper sack along with one very ripe banana. Scrunch the bag until closed. Let it sit overnight. The next morning? Perfectly ripened peaches. Voila!
Leaving the skin on the peaches is not simply due to my own laziness. The skin has a lot of fiber and also adds a pretty color. So, reduce the work and leave the skin!
When I lick a finger to taste the base, it seems a little overly sweet. That’s on purpose. When it freezes, that sweetness is somehow tempered. Why? I do not know. It just is. Trust me here.
Preparation time: 15 minute plus 4-6 hours freezing time
Cooking time: 3 minutes
Number of servings: 10 pops
For more great recipes from Alicia follow her blog Weekly Greens or follow her on Instagram on @aliciasokol