Homemade popsicles can be as simple as pouring juice in a mold. They can also involve more complicated mixtures of pureed fruit, simple syrups, and diced piece of fresh fruit. Either way, following these five steps will guarantee delicious and beautiful popsicles every time!
STEP ONE: INGREDIENTS
All popsicles begin with a base – either fruit or milk. This is the foundation of your flavor.
- FRUIT: Most popsicles are fruit-flavored – either from fruit juice, fruit puree, or whole chunks of fruit. You’ll want to use the ripest fruit possible for more flavor. The less ripe the fruit, the more sweetener you’ll need to add.
- DAIRY: Milk-based popsicles can be made with whole milk, half-and-half, heavy cream, and yogurt. Canned milks like evaporated and sweetened condensed milk can be used too. Even non-dairy options like coconut, almond, and oat milk can be used, too. High-fat milk options create creamy, rich popsicles similar to the feel and taste of ice cream.
From here, a sweetener is needed to add depth to the popsicle and to keep the texture from being too hard and icy.
- SWEETENER: There are also many option for sweetening the mixture. Tasting your mixture while mixing will help you decide if you need to add more sweetener. Keep in mind – the frozen popsicle will taste less sweet than the popsicle mixture. If you need to sweeten the mixture – honey or simple-syrup work great. They mix into the fruit or milk mixtures easily. A simple-syrup can be made by boiling 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Add as much as you need to make the mixture sweet.
Once the base is created, you can incorporate many different ingredients into your popsicles – fruit, chocolate, nuts, coconut, spices, and herbs.
STEP TWO: MOLDING
Once you have a mold, use a liquid measuring cup to pour the mixture into the mold. This is the easiest and most precise way to fill the mold.
As you’re filling the mold, keep in mind the amount of space needed for expansion. Most mixtures need 1/4″ of space left unfilled. But if you’re using a soda pop as your base, leave a bit more space for the mixture to expand.
After the mold is filled, consider how to place the popsicle stick. Some molds include sticks and handles that can be placed immediately on the mold. If this is the case, place them immediately.
Our favorite mold has a lid to keep the molds in place. This is helpful, but not perfect. If the sticks are not perfectly straight, the lid is hard to remove.
So, you we recommend doing one of two things:
- Place the popsicles in the freezer for one hour, allowing them to solidify for a bit before placing the sticks. An hour in the freezer is enough for most mixtures to hold the stick in place. This allows you to make sure the stick are straight and don’t fall all the way to the bottom of the pop. Definitely set a timer so you don’t forget to add the sticks. We’ve done this and eating a popsicle with your hands isn’t’ quite as fun… haha.
- Create a lid with a piece of aluminum foil. Poke a hole in the foil where the sticks need to go and then insert the sticks. They may end up a bit crooked, but they foil is easy to remove and you don’t have to remember to add them later.
STEP THREE: FREEZING
First, make sure you have enough space in the freezer for your mold to sit flat. Do some rearranging and make some space for your popsicles. While you’re at it, check the settings on your freezer. If possible, turn the temperature of the freezer to a lower setting to aid in quicker freezing and more solid popsicles. This will make the fridge cold, too, so keep an eye on things before your lettuce is frozen.
Now, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time for freezing – at least 4-6 hours. Popsicles with a clear-liquid base freeze faster than dairy based pops. We prefer making our popsicles in the evening and letting them freeze all night long.
You can leave the popsicles in the mold for a day or two, but it’s best to remove them sooner than later before the taste and texture are affected.
STEP FOUR: UNMOLDING
There are several ways to remove your popsicles. We treat the popsicles differently depending on which type of mold was used.
For silicone molds, especially ones with intricate details and designs, take the mold off the popsicle immediately. The silicone will stretch and pull away, but you’ll want the popsicle to be as solid as possible.
For plastic molds, fill a container large enough to hold the mold with warm (not hot) water. Briefly dip the mold in the water for 20-30 seconds. Remove the mold and set on a flat counter. Firmly grip the stick and pull out the popsicle. If it’s still stuck, place the mold back into the water for another 10 seconds or so.
We don’t recommend leaving the popsicles on the counter to soften or 5-10 minutes before removing. While this method is often recommended, we find the popsicles melt unevenly and the the stick comes out without the rest of the popsicle.
STEP FIVE: EATING
Once your popsicles are removed, they can be eaten immediately. It will be a bit soft and melty. If you prefer a more firm popsicle, it should be placed in the freezer immediately. 30 minutes is enough time to get the job done.
It’s best if the popsicles are stored airtight. We love these cellophane bags with an easy-seal top. They keep the popsicles individually wrapped, making them easy for sharing! The pops can also be place in an airtight container, just layer with sheets of parchment to prevent them from freezing together.
Once wrapped, homemade popsicles will stay fresh for a few weeks, so try to eat them sooner than later. We have a feeling that won’t be hard to do.
Use these guidelines to start making delicious, homemade popsicles. Creating your own mixtures of fruit and milk is fun way to be creative in the kitchen. These tips will help guarantee your popsicles are equally beautiful and delicious!
Looking for a some recipes to start with? Look below for a few suggestions!