Its a holiday weekend here in the States and I'm ready to welcome summer with Strawberry-Basil Ice Pops. These are flavored with a basil syrup made from boiled sugar, water, and fresh basil. You mostly taste ripe strawberries but the basil adds an earthy topnote to these sweet pops. Try them at your next barbecue!
Strawberry-Basil Ice Pops (makes about 6 depending upon size of pop molds)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup water
2.5 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and basil. Pour in 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved and a syrup has formed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let syrup cool to room temperature.
Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the basil syrup into a blender or food processor, discaring the basil leaves. Add the strawberry halves, lemon juice and salt. Process until very smooth.
If using conventional ice-pop molds, divide the mixture among the molds. Cover and freeze until solid, at least four hours or up to three days. If using sticks instead of covered molds, insert sticks in the middle when the pops are partially frozen, after about one hour.
To unmold run warm water over the bottom of the mold for a few seconds and twist out.