Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sundays with Sparky - All-Fruit Icicle Pops

I do love my kitchen appliances, and often fall victim to the unitasker.  Such was the case when I was regifted a FoodSaver: after vacu-sealing chicken breasts, I realized there was only one real use for the thing: making plastic-encased icicle pops, the no-mess summer treat that make me cringe whenever I buy the neon-colored, sugary ones from the store.  Unfortunately, after using them I discovered that liquids weren't ideal for vacu-sealing; they tended to get sucked up.

Recently, Del Monte released a product called "Fruit Chillers," which I realized was just flavored, sweetened, frozen applesauce (well, pear sauce, really) - and I realized that a fruit puree might solve my problem, so Sparky and I got right on that.  We started with a large canteloupe, a nice, flavorful fruit.

 I cut it in half, Sparky scooped out the seeds, and then - using his kevlar gloves - peeled it by cutting away the rind from the outside of the fruit.  We then  cut the fruit into big chunks.  The rest was simple: we dumped it into a blender, blended it into a puree, and added a touch of lime juice and a tablespoon of maple syrup, just in case freezing deadened the flavor.

We then poured our puree into some water-bottle ice-cube trays, just to make vacu-sealing a little easier.  After these were frozen, we started struggling with the FoodSaver.  Unfortunately, this version of a vacuum sealer leaves a very long edge between the sealed item and the seal - so our first attempt created short, stubby but exceptionally tasty icicle pops - I'm telling you, you'll never go back to the other kind. 

After nosing about on internet food sites, someone on David Lebovitz's Facebook page mentioned that I might try vacu-sealing the empty bags the long way, and then filling them - and this turned out to work like a charm.  For our second attempt, we (I, because pineapples are tough and tricky to cut) peeled, cored, and chopped a pineapple and added a pint of blueberries that were a bit tired, but still good.  We also treated a honeydew melon much the same way: peeled, seeded, chopped, pureed.  Sparky then helped me inject these fillings into the new long, skinny bags using a turkey baster (pictures to be added later; sorry - we skipped right to the eating part too quickly) and the tops were sealed.  These nothing-but-fruit pops were even better than the first!  (We were in too much of a hurry to take pictures, but I'll update this post with photos of how we did it as soon as I get the chance!)



Alisa said...
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Michele Hays said...
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