I am obsessed with frozen raspberries and always have some in the freezer for every eventuality. Seriously. They are great in smoothies, cakes and on cereal but have a myriad of other uses too: as fruity ice cubes for lemonade or pimped up Prosecco. I am not sure what kind of magic fruit pickers and freezers do to keep them in such a perfect shape, but whilst fresh raspberries (even the ones I have attempted to grow on my allotment) are always a bit squidgy these perfect pyramids are a wonder to behold – lots of tiny spheres stacked up perfectly – perversely their helmet shapes remind me a bit of the stick-on hair on Lego toys. I used to stick them on the end of my fingers as a way of getting my children to eat fruit when they were very young. It worked with one, whose idea of a top treat is filling them – when still frozen – with maple syrup and allowing them to dissolve slowly in her mouth.
This week I had some sugar syrup left in the fridge from a failed elderberry experiment – I had planned to make a cordial to drizzle over ice-cream from some berries I foraged but wasn’t 100% sure they were actually elderberries and didn’t want to kill myself or my children experimenting. So instead, with the help of my eight-year-old, we made ice lollies.
First we defrosted some frozen raspberries (from Iceland) and using the back of a wooden spoon mushed them through a fine sieve over a large bowl, until we had a lovely seed-free puree. Then we squitzed in a bit of fresh lime (lemon would have done the job just as well, but we didn’t have any to hand) and mixed it with the leftover sugar syrup. I used 250g raspberries to 150ml sugar syrup (to make your sugar syrup – simply dissolve, over a low heat, 100g caster sugar with 175ml water – this needs to be cool before you add to your fruit) and this made about 6 lollies.
Then we simply filled our moulds. We used to have literally dozens of ice lolly holders – in every shape and size – but could we find one when we needed to?! The answer is obviously no, and we can only presume they have gone to the same place as all the missing Tupperware lids. We contemplated pouring the whole lot into a shallow dish and pretending we had always planned to make sorbet, but instead we improvised and used some plastic shot glasses found, inexplicably, in the craft box. We carefully filled them three-quarters full – in some we added an extra raspberry as a mid-suck surprise – before popping them in the freezer. Makeshift lolly sticks – aka cut-in-half straws – were added an hour in to freezing; any sooner and they would have listed hopelessly. An hour later they were ready to slurp. Sweet but sharp and a beautiful deep pink colour.
This is post is sponsored by Iceland.