I’m going to try to make this post short and sweet.
At the moment I have a bit of a cold and not feeling particularly chatty. Luckily for you we made these pops about two weeks ago before that all settled in. I only wish I had some of these left to help sooth my sore throat now! Here’s the goodness rundown:
Peaches, a vanilla bean, some heavy cream – am I talking your language yet? The likelihood is high, right?
There’s also amaretto, which is optional according to the recipe. Whereas, I was like,”Whoever heard of optional amaretto?” Yeah, it’s going in.
This is the first time we’ve ever used vanilla beans in a recipe. They’re very interesting little things. They smell very intense when you open the jar they come in.
But they look like something you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Luckily for us, they are magical and wonderful and awe-inspiring. All you have to do is slit the things open and steal all their goodness.
You make a vanilla-scented simple syrup with one bean and its contents.
Yes, it looks like pepper water, but take the time to taste this stuff before moving on the the next step. Raise your hand if you’re eyes crossed from the goodness assaulting your taste buds.
People, I learned how to truly appreciate vanilla the weekend we made these pops. Thank you, whoever it was that looked beyond the vanilla bean’s leathery, strange exterior so that we all might know its power and glory.
You take your peaches and vanilla simple syrup and pulse them in a food processor till you’ve arrived at the part of the recipe where it looks like you’ve goofed. Only you haven’t, which is why cooking is so much fun.
You get to make soupy, weird-looking stuff likes these pureed peaches into something utterly fantastic.
After you’ve strained the peach mixture to keep out any lumpy undesirables (if only I could strain myself…), you mix in the other yumminess: the cream and yogurt. It’s quite OK if you’re tongue is starting to wag.
Once you’ve mixed the above wonders, just fill up your pop molds and set them in the freezer. Freezing could take a few hours, so be prepared to wait. Making these ahead of time is obviously the smart choice.
Lookit – fresh, homemade pops! This is where you fall on the things like ravenous wolves, the kind who love frozen treats.
Confession: I could NOT get the pops out of the more traditional, non-spiral-shaped molds, so I had to let those thaw in the fridge and refreeze them in the spiral molds.
These things were aMAYzing. More subtle in flavor than I originally thought they’d be, but still with enough wow factor to be able to appreciate making the things from scratch. The amaretto isn’t glaring, but adds a nice, subtle zing. The vanilla beans are like little dots of flavor all throughout.
Would I make these or other homemade pops all the time now? Probably not, but I do at least know now there’s better pops to be had when you make them homemade. We’ll definitely make more, but it will probably be an every-so-often kind of deal. Or, you know, to prop up here and tell you all about ‘em. Hope you give these a try and enjoy them!
Peach-Vanilla Cream Pops
from Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez in Bon Appetit, June 2011
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Chill time: Several hours Level: Easy Makes: 8-10 pops
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 4 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches (about 4 medium), or 16 ounces frozen sliced peaches, thawed
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
- 2 tablespoons amaretto (optional)
Place sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Transfer syrup to a small bowl; chill. We placed our syrup bowl in another larger one and used an ice bath to speed up this process. Discard vanilla bean.
Purée syrup and peaches in a food processor until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over another bowl or a pitcher; strain, pressing on solids to extract about 2 1/4 cups purée. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Divide among molds. We used a ladle to transfer the puree into the molds. Cover; insert ice-pop sticks. Freeze until firm – 4-6 hours at least or check your molds to see if they come with a specific freeze time suggestion. Dip bottoms of molds into hot water for 20-30 seconds to loosen pops. Remove pops from molds and serve.
Never having made homemade pops before, I wasn’t surprised we couldn’t get the pops out of the more traditional plastic rectangular molds. Our spiral molds were made of silicone, so it was very easy, after briefly running room temp water over them, to just peel the mold off the pop. The recipe’s suggestion of dipping the other pop molds in hot water briefly did not work for us, but maybe it would for you? Maybe our rectangular molds were crap. I looked for a while at other recipes using similar molds, but no one had any advice on how to remove pops from molds like them.
The key to these really is to have patience while they freeze. The longer our spiral-shaped pops froze, the easier they were to remove from the molds. Directions for those molds said freeze four hours, but six and even eight was much better.
These lasted in our freezer, in their molds, about five days, but that’s only due to them tasting so good. You probably don’t want to leave them in the freezer longer than two or so weeks, or they might get that freezer-burned smell to them. I’ve noticed this with our homemade ice cream, so I’m guessing freshly made things like these might be more susceptible. If anyone knows otherwise, please let us know and thanks!
Do you want to substitute the peaches for another fruit? Try nectarines, mangoes, strawberries or even blueberries. Maybe even a combination of fruits. I would opt for the same amount as the peaches, four cups of fruit total.
I noted above that the recipe is easy….and it is, for making pops homemade. If nothing else, this should definitely be something fun for the kids to do with you and look forward to.
Since making the peach pops, I’ve also made two other versions based on the above recipe. I’ll simply list the differences and tell you what to do differently from the original.
Strawberry Peach-Vanilla Cream Pops
- 2 Cups sliced peaches
- 2 Cups sliced strawberries
- Follow recipe above as is, including the straining of the fruit/syrup mixture.
Chocolate Banana Cream Pops
- 4 Cups just-ripened, sliced bananas
- Instead of the vanilla bean (make simple syrup as-is otherwise), stir one teaspoon vanilla extract into the pureed banana/syrup mixture after straining it.
- Omit the Greek yogurt – but keep the heavy cream.
- Melt 6 ounces chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl until just melted; stir into the banana/syrup mixture, but don’t over stir. The idea is to barely combine so that there are still some swirls and ribbons and chunks of chocolate in the pops.
Kidlet absolutely loved all of these pops, and the banana ones were even her idea.