As much as I like to bake,when the summer heat hits I want to spend less time in the kitchen. But I still desire a sweet treat every now and then. In my opinion, there is nothing better on a hot summer day than a popsicle to satisfy that craving. Even better than a store bought popsicle would be a homemade pop that can freeze in about 7-9 minutes. Impossible? Not with the new Zoku Quick Pop Maker! This innovative popsicle maker makes creating delicious, unique pops quick and easy.
I must say I was a little skeptical at first. I have had plenty of trouble with popsicle molds in the past. So often the pops have gotten stuck in their molds, or slip off their sticks. And they always require lengthy freezing times. The promise of a popsicle ready in 9 minutes sounded too good to be true.
First, I needed to place the maker in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Really, this is the most difficult part - the waiting! To solve this problem, just keep the maker in the freezer at all times. Then there is no need to wait - the possibility of a delicious popsicle in 7-9 minutes will always be an option.
I wanted to try several different types of popsicles for a true test. I found amazing popsicle recipes in the fantastic book, Pops! Cookbook. In fact, there were so many wonderful recipes in this book that I had a hard time narrowing down my choices. I chose the Mint Tea Pops for my first batch.
First I set out all of my supplies.
This included the maker, as well as the innovative sticks and the “Super Tool”. Which really is super, I later found out.
Here’s the recipe for the Mint Tea Pops:
- 3/4 Cup sugar
- 1/3 Cup caffeine free loose green tea, or 5 tea bags
- 12 Sprigs fresh mint
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- 1/2 Cup honey, or to taste
- 1/4 Cup edible flowers
- 1/4 Cup blanched almonds
- Bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour into a heat-resistant pitcher with the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Add the tea, 10 of the mint sprigs, and the lemon juice. Cover and let steep for 1 hour.
- Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in honey to taste.
- Add a few fresh mint leaves, flowers, and almonds to each pop mold. Pour in the tea and insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 6 hours.
- Remove from the freezer. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds.
I was a little nervous about adding the mint, the flowers and the almonds. Would they stick to the wall? Sink to the bottom? Make the pops difficult to pull out?
I filled the pop maker with the mint tea mixture, careful to avoid going past the fill line lest my pops get stuck. I then watched in amazement as the mixture literally froze before my eyes, from the outside in. It was really, really cool. Yet I was still nervous about the extraction part. When using the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, you place the super tool on top of the stick, twist clockwise, and pull. To release the pop, twist the super tool counter clockwise.
The popsicle came right out, with minimal effort. The Super Tool truly does all of the hard work for you.
It turns out that ZOKU has a Quick Pops! recipe book! I love Peanut Butter Cups, so for my second pop I naturally gravitated to the chocolate - peanut butter recipe in that book. This recipe required layering. This is a fun way to make pops, but it typically requires a lengthy amount of time. You pour one layer, wait hours for it to freeze, then pour another layer, wait for that to freeze, and so forth. Not so with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, . You literally watch the liquid freeze before your eyes, within only minutes. Layering these popsicles took slightly longer than when making a solid popsicle. However, they are still completed within minutes. And again, these pops came out easily and perfectly from their molds
Finally, I attempted to add some fruity additions to a pop. The Zoku Quick Pop Tool Kit comes with some fun accessories including a fruit wand. The fruit wand allows you to adhere sliced pieces of fruit to the wall of the maker. Then you add the sticks, and then the liquid. I found a tasty yet simple kiwi strawberry recipe to utilize the fruit wand.
First I stuck a thin slice of kiwi on to the frozen wall of the molds.
Then I poured in the strawberry/simple syrup mixture.
And here’s the result.
So every recipe I tried was a success. Each type of pop came out perfectly every time. The extra tools worked exactly as advertised. The Zoku Quick Pop Maker, is definitely a must have for those long hot summer months when nothing but a delicious cold treat will satisfy your sweet tooth.