July 7th, 2010
Holy smokes it’s blazing! I’m one of those people who much prefers the heat to the cold, but this is ridonculous! And there is only one way to combat such heat: popsicles. (Okay. Pops are definitely not the only way to beat the heat, but they work for us parents who can’t lie in our air conditioned bedrooms reading all day or sneak into movie after movie at a big cineplex.)
The Hungry Boy has endured two days of camp in this heat. His two first days at a full day drop off program, I might add. (Yes, I teared up when I left him. Yes, he had a blast.) I wanted him to come home from his first day away from home to something fun, relaxing and COOL. So I put everything in order to make these pops.
Since the Hungry Boy is only 3 1/2, I squeezed the grapefruits, pureed the blackberries and made the simple syrup before he got home. I put all three in separate bowls and allowed him to do the pouring, mixing and stirring. He organized the bowls, counted stirs and tasted along the way to get the sweetness “just right!” If you have older (more patient!) kids, you can engage them in the process earlier. They can squeeze the grapefruits, measure the juice, sugar and water, and wash the blackberries.
These pops have just enough sweetness to cut the tart grapefruit, but not so much that that you miss that refreshing pucker up taste. Tarragon adds a little bit of dimension with it’s bright, almost licorice flavor. And, I mean, really… who doesn’t need popsicles with flavor dimension?! (Yes, I’m making fun of myself.)
Bottom line, these are a tasty treat that you can make with or for the kiddos. Because when you send them off on their own for a full day of fun, there’s nothing like coming home to cool off, catch up and get messy together over drippy homemade popsicles. This heat may be unbearable and I may not have the luxury of spending my day watching movies in a perfectly chilly movie theater, but these are the moments that summertime memories are made of.
Enjoy. Stay cool.
Tarragon Blackberry Grapefruit Popsicles
my molds are just 2 oz; this recipe yields 2 dozen pops
(can be served to kids 12+ mos)*
1 1/4 c water
3/4 c sugar
about 4 large sprigs fresh tarragon
12 oz fresh blackberries
3 c grapefruit juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1. Make a tarragon simple syrup by combining water, sugar, and 1 sprig tarragon in a pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure sugar dissolves. Turn off heat, cover and let sit about 30 minutes. Strain syrup. Set aside. (By the way, I make this syrup a little weak—ie, not very sweet—because the blackberry puree is fairly thick and this helps thin it out without adding too much sugar.)
2. Puree the blackberries with leaves from remaining 2 sprigs of tarragon. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of puree.
3. Mix Puree with grapefruit juice and 1 1/4 cup of syrup. You should have about 1/4 cup of syrup remaining. Use this if my version isn’t sweet enough for you. Otherwise, you can store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.
*Note: Conservative guidelines suggest that you hold off on citrus and blackberries until at least 12 months. But, if you’re taking a more liberal approach that aligns with the latest research on food introductions, you should feel comfortable sharing these relatively low sugar treats (especially the portion size a baby will eat) with your littlest eaters (either the puree, puree and juice mix or the final frozen pops).