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Pops: Cookbook Review

Icy Treats for Everyone

By Krystina Castella

Pops: Icy Treats for Everyone

From exquisite cupcakes to gourmet popsicles, Krystina Castella is back... and just in time for the summer meltdown, with a book that turns the idea of a childish treat on its head. Pops! takes you through the wonderful world of homemade popsicle treats step-by-step. Before you even get to the recipes, there is an introduction to utensils, base ingredients, techniques and presentation. Castella breaks it down to a science so that by time you get to the actual recipes you're good to go.

This first-ever compendium features over 100 recipes split into categories based on type or purpose such as health energy pops, fruit juice pops and cocktail pops. There is a veritable "pop" for every occasion from the summer barbecue to the engagement party or if you simply have a sweet tooth.

With photographs that make these popsicles resemble icy sculpted works of art, it's amazing how quickly they can be made. Personal favorites include the Kiwi pop and the PB & Sesame Raspberry pop; but for a nice lazy summer afternoon we have to recommend the Southern Sweet Tea pop.

The popsicles you make aren't limited to what's in the book. This is just an extremely solid foundation. Once you're done exploring this book your only limitation will be your imagination... and tastebuds.


Southern Sweet Tea Pops

I created these pops as a reminder of all things Southern: hiking beneath moss-covered oak trees, crossing paths with alligators, and eating at simple home-style restaurants that serve bottomless glasses of Southern sweet tea. The sweetener is added to the tea before it is chilled, either during or after brewing. Southerners add peaches and other local fruits to further flavor the tea. Some insist that the best sweet tea is brewed from the heat of the sun. That's how I prepare these Southern Sweet Tea Pops.

1 ¾ cups sugar
6 peaches, cut into wedges, skin on
2 limes, peeled and cut into rounds
1 sprig of fresh mint
3 "family-size" or 8 regular-sized bags orange pekoe black tea

Makes six 8-ounce pops or eight 6-ounce pops

1. In a saucepan over low heat, bring 2 cups water to a simmer and stir in the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add 2 cups cold water. Let cool for 10 minutes.

2. Pour the sugar water into a clear glass container. Add the peaches, limes, and mint and stir. Add the tea bags. Cover and put the container outside in the sun for 3 to 5 hours, or until the tea reaches your desired strength.

3. Remove the tea bags and stir the tea. Scoop out the peaches, limes, and mint, and divide them evenly among the pop molds. Pour in the tea. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

4. Remove from the freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds. Serve graciously.

Reviewed by Chase Queen

PKR071009 (Updated: 07/12/10 SG)

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