Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Lolly Vaps

Who doesn’t love a lolly? I’ve yet to find a person who doesn’t like a cold icy fruit flavoured (or milky) treat on a stick. It’s fun to eat, it cools you down and you can make them any way you like and from nearly anything you love.

For me, lollies mean a return to my childhood. When you were playing for hours in the hot sun and you heard that bell… you know you always found that extra burst of energy to spend running towards the lolly man to buy your cold treats. And who doesn’t remember that old Sesame Street clip with the girl and her mother making popsicles or ice pops (as they’re called in America) out of a pitcher of juice and paper cups? (I wonder if they used Kool Aid – it makes a great lolly too, especially the blue one!

I was seriously jonesing for these and to be honest, it was already night time and I didn’t want to go to the store to get one. Luckily I had a couple of lolly moulds on hand and I was determined to create something different and I didn’t want the kind of lolly you make from regular juice. A mango lolly seemed like the perfect plan.

Scanning the fridge, I looked in vain for the three mangoes I had. Sadly, just one small and lonely little mango stared pitifully at me. No worry. As they say, ‘When you doh have mammy, take granny’, so I decided to utilize some of the cantaloupe I had there. Grabbed a few limes and thought hard about how this was all going to come together.

Some simple syrup would start the jamming…

My baby saucepan went on the stove with 1 cup of water and a ½ cup of granulated sugar. I just let it heat up and stirred it until the granules disappeared and then left it to cool.

Peeled and chopped up the mango and a good slice of the cantaloupe – the flavour of the cantaloupe is pretty mild, so even though the mango is small, its own flavour won’t be lost.

Now these limes were tiny, so I squeezed about 4 of them and managed to get about a ¼ cup of lime juice.

Grabbed the blender and I poured the cooled syrup into it, and then added the mango.

Next up were the cantaloupe, lime juice, some Angostura orange bitters and a teeny pinch of salt. Yup. Salt. (It would cut the intense sweetness – take what ah telling yuh!)

Put the blender on “Liquefy” and let to do just that. WZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Assembly time! Carefully poured the juice into each lolly mould to just below the edge (ice expands so it needs room). Put in the sticks and placed them in the freezer.

But I did have some leftovers… no scene, into the backup moulds they went to join their partners to chill overnight!
Cue to next day when the sun was doing some major damage...

I remembered the lollies. Unfortunately, in my excitement to try one, the mould slipped out of my hand and fell, snapping the edge off. *sigh*

No matter, I put it back and turned my attention to the backup mould. To release, I simply ran it under some cold water, then spun it around and pulled gently until it came out.

Ta-daaaaah! Looks so delicious!

Mmm-hmm… definitely tasting that mango!
(Of course, I had to go grab a second round!)

I love when a vaps works out. This recipe will be getting tweaked as I go along, since cantaloupe is not something I normally have laying around in the fridge. I can suggest doing this with two good sized ripe, firm mangoes (definitely use those that don’t have many strings). Or, use one large mango and another fruit such as watermelon (minus the seeds), paw-paw or even pineapple. Just use your imagination! For a milky version, I’d probably try it with soursop or barbadine with some kind of flavoured yoghurt... or milk. (Definitely looking forward to those experiments!)

So, I’m going to continue to enjoy these lollies and think up some new ones along the way. Take care everyone, and don’t forget to mind the pot!

[P.S. - Just made a new version using ginger syrup, lime and more cantaloupe… it’s going down wickeeeeeed! Sorrel may be in the future!]

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