Monday, March 2, 2009

Farewell to summer

I bought popsicle moulds at my sister's Tupperware party. It seemed like an odd purchase, since I can't think when I ever had a hankering to make popsicles, but these moulds were a cheery, egg-yolk yellow with orange bottoms and a bright green popsicle stick. They looked happy and fun, even if I wasn't sure that I was going to use them. They also reminded me of my childhood, as mum had a similar set, except hers were a boring plain white plastic (Tupperware has really sexed up its colours since the 1970s!)

Rather than just admiring the pretty colours of the moulds, I thought I should use them before summer's long, hot, ice-cream-friendly days disappeared for the year. There's still some dangerously hot conditions forecast for the next few days (and here's praying that there's no repeat of the truly horrendous Black Saturday of 7 February) but there's also an autumnal tone to the days, a slight chill in the morning and a mellowing at dusk, and it won't be long before I'm longing for hot puddings instead of freshly made ice-cream.

So, to celebrate the end of the season, I bought a punnet of raspberries and pureed them. I pushed the puree through a strainer to get rid of the seeds and swirled the puree prettily through a mixture of natural yoghurt and caster sugar. I spooned this mixture into the moulds, put them in the freezer and only a few hours later had an icy treat ready to go. For a spur-of-the-moment indulgence, frozen yoghurt hits the spot: ice-cream requires you to pre-freeze the ice-cream maker's bowl and make and chill an eggy custard to form the base.

The sour tang of the natural yoghurt balanced nicely with the slightly tart raspberries, and these two strong flavours were united and softened by a little addition of caster sugar. You could use a number of combinations of pureed fruit to make a similar popsicle; you could even make two types - say raspberry and mango - to make lovely striped popsicles.

I'm reluctant to give precise measurements for these popsicles, as I just used what was in the fridge and mixed it together. I had a 250ml tub of yoghurt, a 125g punnet of raspberries and I added about 50g of caster sugar. You could use more or less of any ingredient to suit your own tastes and size of popsicle moulds. I think this mixture would also successfully freeze in a metal container and could then be scooped out into bowls or cones.

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