7.27.2013

peach popsicles with pecan streusel crunch.

You know what I hate about food shows? The tease. Obviously, I'm not talking about an actual cooking show where they tell you how much they're adding and how long to cook it. I'm talking about the ones that do nothing but highlight food porn at it's finest with a guarantee that not only will they refuse to share the recipe, you can only get it at the sole restaurant on the other side of the country. Seasonally. If they even have it. It's probably sold out, anyway.

A couple of months ago, Justin and I were watching Unique Sweets, which is probably the worst offender when it comes to food teasing. Sure, they tell you what's in it, and sometimes they might show a few behind-the-scenes in the making-of, but there's no recipes anywhere. There was an episode about popsicles somewhere in the mix, and since we've hailed the frozen treat as the official mascot of summer, I paid attention. They highlighted a little pop-shop in Los Angeles (could it be any farther away?) that makes homemade popsicles in all sorts of ridiculous flavors, but when you call your business Suck It, I suppose you can be a little comical with your offerings.

It was the peach popsicle that stuck with me. I watched the owner stuff her popsicle molds with fat, juicy chunks of peaches, barely suspended in a cinnamon-scented syrup. Once frozen, she coated each one with a crunchy graham cracker coating and HELLO, LOVER. I wanted one. So I scoured the Internet and came up with nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. It was a sad day in our household, friends.

I forgot about it and moved on to other things, but, as true love tends to do, it popped back into my head. Everytime I sniffed a peach at the grocery store, I thought about them. When we dumped frozen peach slices into our morning smoothies, I thought about how much nicer it would be to have a popsicle. Well, one can only take so much popsicle torture, and I set out to make up the recipe myself. You're now entering the Danger Zone.

So I poached and peeled a few ripe peaches, cooked them down a bit with warm spices and a bit of bright orange juice, poured it into my popsicle molds and set my mind to even more important matters - the crunch. I couldn't just do graham cracker crumbs as that would be incredibly dull. So I made a quick pecan streusel, that sort you might see on the top of an old-fashioned pie, crisp and golden brown, making you wonder if the fruit filling is really even necessary or if you might get away with just eating the topping. (Mom, hi!) Once baked, you blitz it up to a powder where it magically retains a mighty crunch, then coat it all around your peach popsicle as your husband declares it Scooter Crunch.

People, this popsicle is a big deal. Greater than the sum of its parts. And while it entails a few more steps than buying a box of them at the store, you'll be rewarded for your efforts with a popsicle that tastes like summer and winter combined. The icy sweetness of the peaches, lush and soft against the warm spices, the crunchy exterior with its toasted pecans and satisfying crunch-crunch-crunch against your teeth. You're making this today.

Oh, and you'll have about a cup or so of the Scooter Crunch pecan streusel leftover. I highly recommend skipping the usual granola and stirring it into your yogurt instead. Insane. You're welcome.

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Peach Popsicles 

Makes 6 popsicles, but could vary depending on the size of your molds.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 firm-ripe peaches
3 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

If your peaches are firm enough to peel with a vegetable peeler, by all means, go for it. If they're on the softer side, as mine were, you can lightly poach them and the skins will slide right off. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, slice a small X into the bottom of each peach, and drop them into the boiling water (as many as the saucepan will hold at once). Prepare an ice bath and set aside. Poach the peaches for 2 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, move them to the ice bath to chill for a few minutes. Remove, slip the skins off, then slice into bite sizes pieces. (Mine were very soft post-poach and didn't slice in any sort of logical way. Once peeled, I crushed them up with my hands then sliced any of the firmer pieces.)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter, sugar, orange juice, spices, and salt. Add in the peaches. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 15 minutes or until the juices are thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into your popsicle molds.

Freeze for an hour, then add your popsicle sicks. Freeze until frozen solid, at least 4 hours.

Pecan Streusel Crunch

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together all streusel ingredients. Spread onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the streusel is a deep golden brown and evenly crisp.

Allow to cool completely. Using a food processor, pulse the streusel a few times until it resembles graham cracker crumbs. Spread the crumbs back onto the baking sheet and grab your popsicles from the freezer. Remove each popsicle from the mold (I find it's easiest to run the plastic molds under very hot tap water for a minute or two, they should slide right out), then roll it in the streusel crunch, patting and pressing it on for a nice, thick layer.

Eat immediately, or wrap each popsicle in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer. Happy summer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I just recently saw that Unique Sweets episode and nearly died when I saw that segment. Can't wait to make these!!