BLUEBERRY MOONSHINE POPS

“Ideally, this pop would be savored on a front porch somewhere in North Carolina, surrounded by fireflies and the chirp of crickets and accompanied by the languorous strains of a bluegrass Dobro. But it’s pretty good even in a crappy apartment in the city. In a bizarre post-modern reversal, these days you can buy moonshine in the most discerning liquor stores (try the Catdaddy brand). As when making any type of boozy pop, pour lightly, because alcohol — and moonshine in particular — makes the pops really fragile.” –

BLUEBERRY MOONSHINE POPS
Makes 10 pops

1 pound 6 ounces (4-3/4 cups) blueberries
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) simple syrup (recipe below)
2 Tablespoons (1 fl oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (3 fl oz) moonshine

1. Pick out any stems or leaves from the blueberries and puree them in a food processor. You should have about 2 1/4 cups (18 fl oz) of puree.

2. Combine the pureed blueberries, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a bowl or measuring pitcher with a pouring spout. Taste; the precise amount of simple syrup and lemon juice needed will depend on how sweet the berries were to begin with. Be aware that blueberries are one of the rare fruits that you don’t want to over sweeten because they tend to get sweeter as they freeze. Stir in the moonshine.

3. If you wish, now is the time to strain out the skins by pressing the gloppy blueberry mixture though a colander or sieve using a wooden spoon, a rubber spatula, or your fist (blueberries stain skin, so those choosing the third route might want to wear gloves). Or don’t, and leave them in.

4. Pour the mixture into your ice pop molds, leaving a little bit of room at the top for the mixture to expand. Insert sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold and transfer to plastic bags for storage or serve at once.

Simple Syrup
Makes 1 cup (8 fl oz) syrup

2/3 cup (5 oz) organic cane sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) water

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is transparent. Turn off the heat and let cool. Add any spices before the mixture starts to simmer; add any herbs only after you’ve turned off the heat. Store plain and infused syrups in sealed containers in the fridge.

Excerpted from People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell, and Joel Horowitz. Photography by Jennifer May (Ten Speed Press)

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