Icy poles, ice blocks, ice lollies…whatever you call them, they are great aren't they? My friends and I were re-introduced to the home made variety whilst melting in the heat of an August New York summer last year. It brought back memories of the Cottee's green cordial my mum would freeze in icy pole moulds over summer school holidays. The icy poles in New York have stepped up a mark from frozen cordial days to include real, yes real fruit, ginger and spices. Feeling inspired, I returned home to make my own versions.
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An icy pole container, plastic moulds, ice cube trays or dariole moulds will all suffice to freeze your icy pole mix in. Products can be purchased from homeware stores, large retailers or try your local art and craft or party supply store.
Recipe Ideas to Get You Started
A quick internet search will reveal recipes to suit every icy pole palate. The January 2011 issue of Gourmet Traveller (GT) also has a section on these frozen treats. Ranging from easy to a little more time required, many were worthy of appearing as dessert at your next get-together as well as an anytime snack to enjoy on a warm day. For GT recipes click on 'recipes' and enter words 'icy pole' and 'popsicles' in the search site section. A variation on a GT recipe I make is:
Ingredients: 1kg Watermelon – blended 2 Limes – juiced 1 cup castor sugar (optional) 1 cup water (optional)
Combine the blended watermelon and lime juice, stir, then pour into icy pole moulds and pop into the freezer. It's that simple. Note: If using a mould rather than an icy pole container let the mixture freeze until it is semi-firm. Depending on the ingredients, test after 1 – 2 hours, your stick needs to stand up straight in the mixture. Return to the freezer until solid.
For extra sweetness or the fruit is not at its tastiest depending on the season, add sugar syrup to the taste. Make sugar syrup by combining castor sugar and water over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cool to room temperature before adding to your mix.
For adult versions add a nip of alcohol like gin, vodka, frangelico or kahlua. Check recipes for ideas of quantities, as a splash to much of your desired tipple means your icy pole will not freeze. For children the fruit or cordial mixes are easy and rewarding to make.
Oh and if the sun goes behind the clouds or pops over to the other hemisphere for summer – don't be put off. I eat them to cool down and give myself a quick and healthy energy boost after exercising.
Ready to Eat
Take the icy pole out of its mould by leaving the container at room temperature for a few minutes. Remove by pulling the stick or handle. Simply enjoy.