My current situation: Sitting here trying to find something interesting to say about popsicles, when all I can think about is researching my upcoming trip to Italy. Oh, did I not tell you that yet? It’s kind of big news…
We’re going to ITALY! In a month. For two weeks! For our 5 year anniversary. And my birthday! And when we booked our flights I fell to my knees and cried. Wept. Sobbed. Blubbered! I straight up ugly cried tears of joy. You see, it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to travel to Italy, and I spent a good part of my life thinking it was never going to happen. I’m still in disbelief that it’s actually going down. Is this real life?
In fact, I’m so excited that it’s actually becoming a bit of a problem. It’s nearly impossible for me to get any work done because I can’t stop endlessly daydreaming about our trip. Every time I open my browser to start writing about these stunning peach and lavender popsicles, my attention gets diverted to an agriturismo in Tuscany or a restaurant in Bologna. Sure, there’s this food I photographed for this post, but what about ALL OF THE FOOD IN ITALY?!
I have plenty of time to clamor on about my Euro adventure, so lets get to talkin’ ’bout these pops! That’s what you came here for anyway, right? We’re at the peak of peach season right now in New Jersey, and every week I’ve been lugging home bushels from the farmers market to fill up my freezer. Having a little taste of summer in January is what helps me get through the doldrums of winter – you should try it!
Made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, sweet-tart peaches and floral lavender, these Lavender Peach Popsicles are more like Lavender Peaches and Cream-sicles. Does anyone else think of that 112 song any time they hear those words spoken together…? Know what I mean? Peaches and cream?
Lavender is a gorgeous aromatherapeutic herb that has a calming, relaxing scent. But it can be a little funny to cook with. Not funny Ha-Ha. Funny weird. Used in just the right quantity, lavender gives a lovely floral quality to food, but if you add even just a little bit too much, it will straight-up taste like soap. I tasted a lot of soap as a kid (which, for the record, did nothing for my potty mouth), so it conjures up bad memories of getting punished. No one wants to eat a soap-sicle.
The lesson? Always exercise restraint when cooking with lavender, and never wash your kids’ mouths out with soap. It doesn’t work. The other lessons? These popsicles rule. Italy is going to rule. And YOU, my loyal readers, rule the most. xo.
Have you been to Italy? Do you have any tips, must-see-sights or, more importantly, must-eat-eats?! Leave a comment and let me know!
- 4 medium peaches (or about 4 cups sliced frozen peaches, thawed)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lavender flowers, dried or fresh, (culinary grade)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt*
- Soak 8-10 popsicle sticks (depending on your popsicle mold) in water for about 10 minutes, remove, then place in the freezer along with the popsicle mold while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Score a large X in the bottom of each peach and submerge them in the boiling water for about 30-45 seconds, then drop them into the ice bath. Once cooled, the skins should slip right off. Peel, remove the pits, and cut into chunks.
- Place the sugar in a small sauce pan with 1/2 cup of water, then bring to a boil over high heat. Once the sugar dissolves, transfer it to a blender. Add the peaches, vanilla extract, lavender flowers, lemon juice, heavy cream and greek yogurt. Blend until very smooth. If there are still chunks remaining,
- set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and strain, pressing on solids to extract the purée. Cover the mixture and chill until it's nice and cold.
- Remove the molds from the freezer and divide the mixture evenly. Cover, then insert the popsicle sticks. Freeze until firm- at least 6 hours or overnight. To release, dip bottoms of molds into hot water for 20-30 seconds, and they should slide right out. Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and freeze for later.
- *I always use full-fat Greek yogurt since it's what I keep on hand. 2% or fat free will both work fine.