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People's Pops' Strawberries & Cream Popsicles

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Confession time: I have no less than SIX posts in the pipeline on this here olde time bloggue. Six! There is chili and muesli and cauliflower salad and eggplant parm and a million amazing new cookbooks to tell you about, but somehow the time, the time!, is never enough. So let's start small, shall we, with these delicious little popsicles that I made last week, after having an attack of the mom-guilt-blues and trying to come up with a fun after-school treat to delight my school kid.

(Another confession: A parenting thing I'm really struggling with at the moment is self-doubt. Like, I wake up at 3:30 in the morning to pee, think about something I did/said/didn't do/whatever the day before with Hugo, then proceed to fall down an awful spiral of misery, self-doubt and recriminations that last until it's time to get up and get the day going with my little dudes. It's...not great. Does that happen to you? What's your biggest parenting challenge right now? Why are babies so much easier to parent than kids? Maybe don't answer that question? Are you also an insomniac whose entire night can be ruined by one errant thought? Let's commiserate, maybe we'll all feel better.) 

The recipe comes from People's Pops by way of Catherine Newman, who loves their cookbook, and because everything she writes about turns out to be as delicious as she says it is, I went a little nuts looking up recipes for blackberry-yogurt pops and blueberry buttermilk and roasted plum pops (I mean!). Ultimately, because here strawberries are cheap and plentiful and fragrant as all get-out right now, I made these strawberries & cream popsicles. They were a cinch to make - just puree fresh strawberries with some lemon, vanilla and salt, combine it with simple syrup (which, because I once bought a pretty bottle of cane syrup for the label, I don't even do, I just pour this stuff in) and swirl in some cream - and they were indeed as delightful as they sound, especially because it's been heat-wave hot here lately and we're all constantly irritable and slightly damp with sweat and lightly spangled with playground sand.

The best thing about homemade popsicles has to be the look on your kid's face when they get off the school bus, hangry and tired and wondering what annoyingly wholesome thing you've prepared for their snack and you say there are strawberry popsicles in the freezer. And that he can have two! (Spoiler alert: he couldn't finish two. That's okay. More for you.)

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Strawberries & Cream Popsicles
Makes 8 to 10, depending on your mold
Adapted from People's Pops

2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
4 cups strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
¾ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup heavy cream

1. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Puree the strawberries in a food processor (you should have about 2 cups of puree). Transfer the berries to a measuring pitcher with a spout and add ¾ cups of the cooled sugar mixture, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Pour in the heavy cream; do not mix.

3. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds, leaving a bit of room at the top for expansion. Insert the sticks and freeze the popsicles until they are solid, 4-5 hours. Unmold the pops and transfer to a plastic bag for storage, or serve at once.