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balsamic berry & bubbly popsicles

January 23, 2014

popsicles_01 (Large) I have a bit of a problem when it comes to berries. Strawberries especially, for who can say no to their cheery heart-shaped frame, topped with a little green hat? I buy them, you see, almost obsessively. More so when their prices have been slashed because they’re tiptoeing the line between too-ripe and woeful. And when I find these almost-done-for berries, I wash and hull them, eat as many as I feel like, then pop the rest in snap lock bags in the freezer, ready for a new lease on life. popsicles_05 (Large) Frozen berries make dessert easy. One or two, crushed in a blender or food processor and swirled through ice-cream, the chunks crushing between your teeth as the berry-acid sparks your tastebuds out of their creamy vanilla dreams. A couple thrown in a mixture of yoghurt, banana and oats for a scoopable breakfast smoothie. One popped into your mouth on a achingly hot day. popsicles_04 (Large) On the odd occasion that I do manage to find myself with some slightly less-than-squishy strawberries, my favourite thing to do is to halve them and then douse them in a splash of balsamic vinegar or vinocotto (depending on how fancy I’m feeling). The slightly tart berries transform into a beautifully perfumed pop of flavour – with a natural reddy-black syrup to boot. They’re amazing served this way on top of yoghurt or (if you’re feeling naughty) pancakes!. popsicles_02 (Large) But strawberries aren’t the only berries lying about in my kitchen. Whilst I buy my blueberries fresh (and never let them hang around for long enough to freeze them), I always buy my raspberries frozen. Frozen raspberries are a bit of a freezer bounty in this household – there’s bound to be a half-bag sitting around in the depths somewhere, if you’re keen enough to go hunting for it. I suppose it’s no surprise, then, that I found myself holding nothing other than a baggie of frozen strawberries and the dregs of a few different packets of frozen raspberries when it came time to bust out the popsicle moulds. I added a splash of fig vinocotto from Maggie Beer’s into the mix to add a slight tang and so the berries would release their flavour a touch more. I also added a splash of bubbly because strawberries and bubbles? Why the hell not! popsicles_03 (Large) Technique-wise, there’s a couple of differences between this recipe and most others. For starters, we start our recipes with frozen berries and keep them that way as much as possible, rather than reducing everything to a liquidy syrup. By doing this, you’ll have a slightly chunkier, opaque ice pop, rather than the transparent, smooth ones you’ll tend to get at the store. When you bite in, it will break off in chunks in your mouth so you get the texture of crumbly berries, instead of your usual fine ice crystals. It’s a bit different, but I like it that way. Chunky ice pops full of chunky fruit. (With the added bonus that your popsicle sticks will stay upright and straight in the mould, rather than listing over to one side or the other). Because of all of the fruit, I’ve not added any sugar or syrup to the recipe either. The pop ends up being sweet, but only as much as a berry might be, which is only as sweet as you need, right? popsicles_06 (Large)

balsamic berry & bubbly popsicles
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 punnet of strawberries (250g), hulled and frozen
  • ⅔ C frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp (20ml) vinocotto or caramelised balsamic
  • 100ml bubbly (use a dry cider or prosecco)
How to make it
  1. You can either buy your strawberries frozen or do as I do and wash, hull and freeze berries in small portions in snap lock bags ready for use.
  2. Weigh out 250g of strawberries (or just grab a big handful, the weight is just a guideline) and grab your raspberries. Put them both in a food processor and pulse until they have turned into shards of pink and red. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar or vinocotto and process on low until the mixture is a mostly smooth with a few small chunks.
  4. Remove the blade of the food processor, pour in your bubbly and stir gently with a spatula.
  5. Spoon the mixture (it will be too thick to pour) into six small popsicle moulds and give them a big old thump on the table to get rid of any big bubbles. You can also use a skewer to prod the mix around to do the same.
  6. Push a paddlepop stick into the top of each. The mixture will be thick enough to hold the stick in place without any additional work on your part,
  7. Freeze for at least three hours and serve frozen (or upended in a glass with more bubbly poured over the top!

SABH_14-01-Popsicle1

(Would you believe it? I finally got my act together in time to enter the SABH Blog Hop again! Big ups to Love Swah for picking a category that I could pull together a 5 minute recipe for!)


  • #1
    January 24th, 2014

    Strawberries with balsamic is always a winner!

  • #2
    January 24th, 2014

    ohh these are lovely, like you i hoard berries when they are a good price, talk abt a dud investment!

  • #3
    January 24th, 2014

    Ooo what a grown up popsicle, I love the flavour combo. Thanks for joining the hop! 🙂

  • #4
    January 24th, 2014

    Perfect summer treat! Where ever are those sticks from??

  • January 30th, 2014

    Hi JJ 🙂

    I got the sticks from a craft store – as long as they’re uncoloured they should be fine (though I do tend to give them a bit of a soak in warm water and a dry out before using them if they’re from a not-particularly-clean craft store!)

  • #5
    January 28th, 2014

    these look wonderful. Great photos, too.

  • #6
    February 9th, 2014

    Sounds absolutely awesome! I love grown up desserts like these and it’s still pretty warm these days too… Perfect!

  • #7
    February 9th, 2014

    Strawberries and balsamic, berries and bubbles, perfect combos!

  • #8
    March 20th, 2014

    Your photos are stunning. I will be back to try some of your recipes. I found your site when I was searching Honey Cheesecake.

Shez