Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Stick it to boring lollies: healthy homemade fruit ice lollies

This summer I have been reminded of an ice lolly mould that my mum had when I was little, that she used to make lollies for me and my brother. As I recall, she kindly left us to choose the flavours, and our imagination rarely extended beyond coke, orange juice or maybe summer fruit squash.

I have tried a variety of shop bought lollies this summer (as my husband has been having a lot of ice creams, and I am dairy intolerant, so started feeling very left out!) but I have been very disappointed, even by supposedly fancy ones. The selection seemed to range from the insipid to the test-tube-E-number-rich, without much in between. And so I set about finding a lolly mould, which didn't throw up as much choice as I expected, but there are some online. (I got mine from Lakeland - for about the price of one or two packs of lollies - but they don't seem to have it on their website any longer.)

Now I have lolly creation power in my hands, the opportunities are endless, but I started with raspberry, blueberry, elderflower and mint.

I got a handful of raspberries, a handful of blueberries and a couple of sprigs of mint roughly cut into small/medium pieces. I popped these into the moulds so they were roughly mixed up. In a small jug I mixed some elderflower cordial with water, but made it quite a bit stronger than I normally would for drinking it, and then slowly poured that over the fruit in the moulds until nearly to the top.

With the end of a teaspoon, I gave them a gentle poke around, as I wanted to get out to get out any big air pockets, as they could cause the lolly to split. Then, lids on and in the freezer!

I have made a raspberry and blackberry version too, which worked well as the blackberries hold an amazing amount of flavour when frozen. For my next batch, I am planning spiced chai tea and nectarine... mmmm. I also plan to try stewed rhubarb with fresh ginger: I have no idea how that will turn out, so I'll let you know!

And if it's not ice lolly season, this exact mixture, with gelatine added to the liquid, makes a great jelly.

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