7.13.2008

Berry freeze

A berry is a terrible thing to waste.

When my raspberries began to mold, strawberries to mush, and currants to soften, I threw them into a pot and began to cook. Unsure of where the experiment was headed, I watched as the fibers broke down, seeds spilled out, and a sweet haze rose steaming into the sunlight.

The berries soon formed a soup. Thick and seedy in its bulk, it reminded me of a popsicle stand I'd visited once in Mexico. There they had mashed the fruit, sweetened its paste, and frozen it into thick, vibrant slices of truly whole-fruit delights. I recalled one dotted with kiwi wheels, another with strawberries sliced into heart shaped diamonds, and a third translucent and white, flecked with ivory coconut.

As I began to sweat, I stirred in a dollop of honey, a bit of water, and a dash of cream into the soup until it coalesced into a thick amalgam of July fruit. I tested the sweetness, opened the freezer, and poured what would fit into a series of thin, plastic slots. Topping the juice with fitted sticks, I slammed the door and began the wait.

The next afternoon, I tested the results. Perhaps not so beautiful as the Mexican creations, but equally worthy of a hot days' rest.

BERRY FREEZE POPS

Makes 8 popsicles

Cook 3 cups raspberries and one cup mixed currants, gooseberries, and strawberries or other berries over medium heat until soft. Mash and add 1 cup water and 1/8 to 1/4 cup honey. Stir until dissolved and well mixed and pour into 8 popsicle holders. Extra can be refrigerated and blended with ice and yogurt to make a smoothie or mixed with mint ice tea to add a sweet berry flavor.

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