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Monday, June 25, 2012

Apricot Chamomile Popsicles (Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanilla)

Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanilla (Apricot Chamomile Popsicles)
It's that time again.  Time to play the Picnic Game! Every year, Louise announces her annual Picnic Game on International Picnic Day (June 18) and gathers participants dishes into her giant virtual picnic basket to share on the first day of National Picnic Month (July).  It's something I look forward to every year...this is my fourth year participating.

Taking that peek into the basket...lifting the virtual lid...spreading the blanket and loading up my plate.  Did you have any doubt that I would bring a popsicle this year?  I mean, even if my blanket was occupying space under a giant shade tree and a pleasant breeze was blowing, it's still sizzling out there.

Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanilla (Apricot Chamomile Popsicles)
This is a combination I've been wanting to try for quite some time now.  Fortunately, little fuzzy apricots are starting to show up at the markets now.  So, combined with my supply of chamomile (it grows in my yard), it was perfect timing.

Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanilla (Apricot-Chamomile Popsicles)
Juicy apricot ice pops infused with fresh chamomile flowers.
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Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanilla (Apricot Chamomile Popsicles)
by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 30 minutes + time to freeze
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: snack dessert chamomile apricots popsicles American Mexican summer

Ingredients (8-10)
  • 1½ c. water
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ⅓ c. fresh chamomile flowers (½ c. dried / ~48 tea bags)
  • 1 lb. apricots, pitted & quartered
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a a boil and sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
If using fresh or loose dried chamomile, add to pan. If using tea bags, add to pan in their bags. Lower heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

If you used fresh or loose dried chamomile, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Return syrup to the pan. If you used tea bags, simply lift them out, squeezing as much liquid from them as you can.

Add apricots to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apricots soften, 5-10 minutes. Let cool until lukewarm. Stir in the lemon juice.

Pour everything into a blender jar and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until cold.

Divide mixture amongst your popsicle molds and add sticks when the time is right for your pops (depends on mold). Freeze until solid, usually 4-6 hours.

I know, 48 tea bags is a lot. It's about 2 boxes. Maybe slightly more. Just use 2 boxes, if that's the route you want to go.

-slightly adapted from Paletas
Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanilla (Apricot Chamomile Popsicles)
And aside from picnics, what else is synonymous with summer?  Popsicles and paletas, of course! So, I'll also be sharing this with my own summer challenge, the Summer of the Popsicle!  I'd be honored to have your popsicles, paletas, ice pops, and the like as well.  Won't you join me in the perfect way to cool down this summer?