RECIPES: 2 DIY Summer Popsicles from People’s Pops

Pops are like an air conditioner in your mouth, and one of the best ways to use up all that Greenmarket fruit. We recommend these recipes for all that extra watermelon and cantaloupe.

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The cover of our latest issue features summer on a stick, the icy icon perfected by three friends who started out schlepping People’s Pops coolers to New Amsterdam Market and now operates three Manhattan stores and sell pops at markets and through shops all over town.

But the owners also happy for you to make your own, too. And summer is prime pop season, not only because they’re like an air conditioner in your mouth, but also because they’re one of the best ways to use up all that Greenmarket fruit we haul home and then wonder how we’re gonna possibly use up.

Whether you score blueberries or peaches, corn or cucumbers, simply puree with some simple syrup, pour into molds (or Dixie cups, or shot glasses, or even ice cube trays), stick in the freezer and wait. That’s the general concept anyway, but we highly recommend you score their killer cookbook. The below recipes, excerpted from it, make ten pops each.

Jord_Peoples Pops 780

Watermelon and Parsley Pops (pictured above)

Makes 10 pops

12/3 pounds whole watermelon (about 1/2 of a bowling ball–size watermelon)
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) simple syrup (see below), or more if needed
20 leaves fresh flat-leaf parsley

Peel and coarsely chop the watermelon. If watermelon contains seeds, discard them. You should have about a quart of watermelon pieces. Puree the watermelon, leaving chunks if you like, as long as they’re small enough to pour into the molds. You should have about 2 1/4 cups (18 fl oz) of puree.

Transfer the pureed watermelon to a bowl or measuring pitcher with a pouring spout. Mix the simple syrup into the pureed watermelon until it tastes quite sweet. Chop the parsley very finely and add it to the mixture.

Pour the mixture into your ice pop molds, leaving a little bit of room at the top for the mixture to expand. Insert sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold and transfer to plastic bags for storage or serve at once.

ch late summer cantaloupe and campari

Cantaloupe and Campari Pops

Makes 10 pops

Peaches are the epitome of summer, but melons, those buxom orbs with their waffle-weave shells and floral aroma, are without a doubt another high point. A table stacked tall with gorgeous melons makes us lusty like no other fruit.

To prep a cantaloupe for pureeing, cut it around its equator and scoop out and dump the seeds and fibers inside. Set each half on a cutting board, cut side down, and lop 1/2 inch off the top horizontally so that you’ve cut off a flap approximately the size of a circle made by your thumb and finger. Now get the rest of the rind off by slicing longitudinally, as if you had the northern hemisphere on your cutting board and were cutting the surface off each time zone around the world. Once you’re done with both hemispheres, your cantaloupe is ready to puree.

Buy only cantaloupes that smell delicious even before cutting, because a scentless cantaloupe is probably a flavorless one. Along with the ideas in this chapter, cantaloupe pairs beautifully with lavender, hyssop and tequila.

1 cantaloupe, about 2 pounds, peeled and seeded
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) simple syrup (see below)
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) Campari

Cut the cantaloupe into large chunks and puree in 
a food processor. You should have about 2 1/4 cups 
(18 fl oz) of puree.

Transfer the pureed cantaloupe to a bowl or measuring pitcher with a pouring spout. Add the simple syrup until the cantaloupe tastes quite sweet. Now dribble in the Campari until you can detect its flavor. Campari is less alcoholic than most spirits, so this mixture can handle more of it, but it has such a strong presence that you want to be careful not to overdo it.

Pour the mixture into your ice pop molds, leaving a little bit of room at the top for the mixture to expand. Insert sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold and transfer to plastic bags for storage or serve at once.

Simple syrup

2/3 cup (5 oz) organic cane sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) water

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is transparent. Turn off the heat and let cool. If infusing, add any spices before the mixture starts to simmer; add any herbs only after you’ve turned off the heat. Store in sealed containers in the fridge.

Makes 1 cup (8 fl oz)

Reprinted with permission from People’s Pops by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell and Joel Horowitz (Ten Speed Press, © 2012). Photo Credit: Jennifer May.”

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Gabrielle Langholtz is the former editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan.