Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Taste of Summer: Peach-Proscecco Ice Pops

Summer? Have I gone daft?

No, I have not lost my mind. Here in Illinois, I haven't seen a locally grown strawberry, much less a peach. We're lucky to have had an early crop of asparagus and a steady supply of spring greens. Stone fruits are a distant wish.

Nevertheless, my son and I enjoyed a deliciously delectable Peach-Prosecco Ice Pop yesterday, a perfect end to our first 80+ degree day.

Since September these peaches have rested on the top shelf of my freezer, next to some musroom stock, and chicken bones. Whirred together with their poaching liquid, they filled my new Zoku ice pop maker. Seven minute later, we anxiously pried them out of the indents - perfectly frozen half ovals of peach heaven.

Unless you too happen to have a stash of poached peaches in your freezer, you won't be able to make this recipe. It is, however, a reminder that the time to preserve is now. We all get so giddy when the markets open hoping to forget the dark days of winter. Doing this, we miss valuable time to restock our freezer and larder.

To get you started here's a terrific recipe for rhubarb, a nice bridge between winter and spring. It's a good accompaniment to smoked duck or as a topping for vanilla-scented scones.

Rhubarb and Grapefruit Marmalade
Makes 8 + half-pint jars

Adaped from The Hay Day Cookbook

1 ½ pounds rhubarb, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large pink grapefruits
3 cups granulated sugar

Put the rhubarb in a non-reactive bowl. Zest the grapefruit over the bowl. Halve them and squeeze the juice. Strain the juice and pour over the rhubarb. Add sugar and leave at room temperature overnight. Transfer the mixture to a medium size saucepan and bring it to a boil. While waiting for the mixture to come to a boil, sterilize the canning jars. Cook the rhubarb mixture, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat to high and cook until the temperature of the mixture reaches 224º F degrees. Make sure you stir often or the mixture will scorch. Pour the marmalade into the hot, sterilized jars. Seal and let cool without letting the jars touch.


  1. What a great reminder! Maybe you could do a future column (or, if not, a personal email?) about what fruits freeze well and any tricks of the trade for freezing? I'd love to swap out the frozen pizzas in my basement freezer for healthy fruits and veggies.

  2. Great point Christy. I think I'll do just that - post tips with recipes on how to use them. Great idea.

    Also, I plan to teach a parent-child preserving class at least twice this summer: Pint-Sized Preserving, once at the Notebaert and then at Smarty Party.

  3. Looking forward to that post. And I'll also try my flaky best to make it to your class -- sounds perfect. And you know Daniel loves your cooking!


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