I admit it was a fair few years back but there was a time when all I wanted on top of my ice cream was some ghastly melting chocolate sauce called ‘Iced Magic’. I seem to remember it came in a number of flavours and froze on impact with the innocent unadulterated ice cream that it made contact with. Thankfully my ice cream tastes have improved and actually I would almost deem myself a wee bit of an ice cream snob, making massive detours to end up in my favorite gelateria’s! The ‘little people’, strangely, have had to be encouraged to eat the cold stuff. It took a degree of patience and determination on my behalf to convince them that ice cream is not to be sniffed at, instead it should be rapidly inhaled before a prying ‘Mummy’ takes a sly scoop or 2.
I have practically stopped making ice cream, selfishly because all I do is eat it. Also there was a time when I was super spoilt and had an all singing and dancing machine to aid the process, not the eating bit but the manufacture! Now that the mass catering has come to a halt so has the ice cream production, well almost, and probably saved my waist line. So having weened the ‘little people’ on to the cold stuff I was beginning to look at a rapidly diminishing bank account as the school holidays loomed and the hot weather seemingly just got hotter and hotter. Imagine my delight one morning while bombing around Waitrose to discover the ‘cutest’ (I hate the word but you have to admit they are) of lolly pop makers; cunningly designed with a bucket at the bottom and a ‘sippy, sucky straw’ to slurp up all the melted contents, the result of hours of licking and melting, wow, children can really make these things last!
This has to be the best thing I have bought this summer. Certainly the ‘little people’ would vote for it, and possibly Mr.P to as it has inadvertently saved him a fortune on shop bought lollies and ices. Not only has this charming delight of a lolly pop maker saved the pennies it has also, unbelievably and slightly unintentionally, made the ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ eat things they never would have dreamed of! Gooseberry and blackcurrant for starters, who would have thought; added to which there is huge excitement in making the lolly pops and a vast amount of anticipation for the lolly masterpiece that is revealed, but only after all the ‘trees’ (brocolli to you and me) have been consumed. To be honest we have not been that adventurous in lolly pop mixology, the flavor combinations have been dictated mainly from what fruit is about to turn and hence is rescued from the firing line by being rapidly pureed and slung into the lolly moulds. Our signature pop goes something like this; ‘Cawston Apple Juice’ on the bottom, strawberry or raspberry puree, sweetened with a touch of honey, followed by a fruit puree mixed with natural yogurt. So simple yet it knocks the socks off most pops!
As you can see from the lolly pop lady above, serious concentration in progress! On that note, I can’t really give you a recipe as it really does not require one. Of course one could do a pure flavor but I think children like color and contrast. All I do is fill the containers with an inch of juice, put in the freezer for an hour or so and then top up with whatever puree I have knocking around. To date we have tried gooseberry and yogurt, blackcurrant and yogurt, raspberry and strawberry yogurt, all with resounding success. My point is this is not a time consuming cooking adventure, it is a simple, one would hope healthier, certainly cheaper alternative to what is available on the street; happy lolly making!
Ice Lolly Moulds; £2.50 from Waitrose