New York has changed me in ways that I could not have imagined. I now say “awesome” a lot more than I used to (never, in fact) and I have on more than one occasion said “super awesome!” without irony. I “take” my showers. I don’t “have” them dammit, I take them, I show them who’s boss. I enjoy pretzels, and peanut butter. I squirt my own liquid butter on my popcorn at the movies without thinking about how gross that is.
But some things do not change. I still say instinctively say “rubbish” for “trash”, I never hear an American talk about “pants” without snickering a bit inside, and I have a rich vocabulary of swear words that is the envy of my American friends. I care a lot about tea, and I’m just going to call it as I see it; American cookies are a Huge let down. Huge. Just look at this Penguin Bar, this Hobnob, this Wagon Wheel, and tell me I’m not right.
If you straddle two cultures as I do, living in the US, but being from the UK, it’s helpful that red white and blue food items can do double duty and stand patriotically for both.
It’s a hot and steamy Memorial Day long weekend here in NYC, and the start of Jubilee week and a heat wave in the UK. Could there be a better time for red white and blue ice pops?
I’ve written before about easy ways to make red white and blue ice pops – frankly, the easiest way is to buy smoothies and use those. These are a little more gourmet – the kind of ice pops you can serve to your friends on a hot day at the end of a BBQ and feel very cool about yourself.
To make a layered pop you pour the mould one third full with mixture, freeze for 2 hours until set, then pour in the next color, and so on. It’s best to start these the day before you want to serve them so they can really set up together.
Last summer I bought a popsicle mold set. Until then I had been using plastic water cups and wooden sticks. It’s a style thing. Whatever you prefer.
Raspberry Mint Pops¼ cup sugar ½ cup water 1 large bunch of mint leaves 2 cups raspberries 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Put the sugar and water in a pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the mint leaves and cool, then strain to make mint simple syrup
- Blend the raspberries with the lemon juice and 1 tbsp of mint simple syrup – taste and see if the mixture is sweet enough – you may need to add some more syrup depending on the sweetness of the berries. If the mixture is really stiff add a tbsp of water
- Pour into the molds. Freeze for 2 – 3 hours until set
Elderflower Ice Pops1 cup sparkling water (I love the citrus lemon San Pelligrino) 1/4 – 1/3 cup elderflower cordial
- Mix the water and cordial together and taste – the bottles I buy in Waitrose are less strong than the bottles I buy in Ikea, so do this to taste – you want a strong elderflower flavor
- Freeze in ice pop molds for 2 – 3 hours until set
If you’re making this is a layer, leave it plain, but if you’re making straight up elderflower ice pops, consider adding a few blueberries and pouring the mixture half way up the mould, freezing, then adding raspberries and another layer of elderflower and freezing again.
Blueberry Thyme Ice Pops2 cups blueberries ¼ cup sugar ½ cup water 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Pour the sugar and water in to a pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the thyme springs and cool to make thyme simple syrup
- Blend the blueberries until smooth (you might need to ass a tbsp of water). Add 1 – 2 tbsp of syrup to taste
- Pour into molds and freeze for 2 – 3 hours until set
If You Can Make That You Can Make This
- Make sorbet by freezing each mixture in tupperwear for an hour, blitzing in a processor, freezing for another hour, blitzing again, then leaving to set for 2 – 3 hours
- Add a splash of rum in with the raspberries, a splash of gin with the elderflowers and a splash of lemon vodka with the blueberries
- Or blend the sorbet with a splash of booze and water to turn into a frozen drink
- Try these red white and blue Popsicles
- Or this summer-y Arnold Palmer Ice Pop