I’m a little late to the Recipe Swap party this month (due to my Foodbuzz 24×24 post that went up on Sunday).
But, better late than never, right?
These last few weeks have gone by in a blur. First off, I was sick for a week and a half and it was rotten. Second, I hosted a giant dinner party that required only a few hours of preparation (and by a few, I mean many, many hours). Not that I’m complaining. Trust me, it was all worth it! But, as you can tell, I’ve had a lot going on.
However, in midst of all of this I found the time to whip up a little something for this month’s Recipe Swap. I’ve been at this for awhile now, so I won’t explain the whole thing, but if you’d like a history of the swap, head over to Burwell General Store for more info and descriptions of all the lovely bloggers involved.
This month, CM from Burwell General Store choose a doozy of a recipe for us to re-interpret: Ozarkian Taffy Apples. I’m not a huge sweets fan, so it took me awhile to get excited about the recipe. My initial thought was to transform it into a savory recipe…something along the lines of a pork skewer with an apple glaze. But, after my Cheese, Wine, and Swine dinner party, I was just a little bit porked out. I was in the mood for something light and refreshing. So, I turned to the sun for inspiration.
Why? Because the sun is finally shining in Portland. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Portland is magical, magical place when the sun shines. I promise, it is like no other place on earth. Sadly, the sun doesn’t show her face much from November to March. But, all of the sudden is back, giving us glimpses of her radiant face and promising all the beauty that summer brings. I’ve allowed myself to begin dreaming of ice cream, backyard BBQs, heirloom tomatoes, and all that the summer has to offer. I can’t wait!
It is precisely this type of summery daydreaming that led me to my great recipe swap idea: apple popsicles! Refreshing, delicious, and vaguely reminiscent of the original candy-apple-on-a-stick recipe. Since I couldn’t be content to make a regular old apple popsicle, I decided to take them up a notch and attempt a boozy apple popsicle.
The internet let me know that boozy popsicles were within the realm of possibility (as I was dubious about alcohol and freezing), and so the matter was settled. I would use apple juice as the base for the popsicle along with beet vodka (which was leftover from the 24×24 party). I also threw in a little ginger simple syrup for kicks. This whole thing was one big experiment, and I’m pleased to report that it all worked out marvelously. The trick to boozy popsicles is simple: you just can’t use much alcohol. The ratio should be roughly 3 parts juice to 1 part alcohol.
For those who are wary of alcohol in their popsicles, I will mention that the alcohol taste is hardly noticeable (which makes sense as there isn’t a lot of alcohol in the recipe). And, of course, it would be very easy to substitute beet juice for the beet vodka in order to make non-alcoholic popsicles.
I am including beet apple popsicle recipe, as well as instructions for making beet infused vodka and ginger simple syrup. I do hope you enjoy (and that summery days are in store for us soon)!
Beet, Ginger & Apple (Boozy) Popsicles:
(Note: I didn’t have much freezer space so I didn’t make very many popsicles! This recipe could easily be doubled, tripled, etc, to make more!)
1.5 cups organic unsweetened apple juice
1.5 Tablespoons ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
3 Tablespoons beet (or other) vodka
Dixie cups (I used teeny tiny little 3 oz cups) or popsicle molds
Combine all 3 ingredients together in a small pitcher (or something you can easily pour from). Pour into popsicle molds or small dixie cups. Using cardboard or tape, affix a popsicle stick to hang in the center of the cup, so that it is partially submerged in the liquid and not touching the bottom of the cup. I found that cardboard works best (but tape will work just fine.)
Note: Please feel free to adjust this recipe to your liking! Next time, I think I might grate a little fresh ginger or orange peel into the mix. I started simple as I wanted to see how well they turned out. I was very pleased and I will be making many more popsicles in the near future. :)
Beet Infused Vodka:
1 bottle mid-quality vodka (nothing too nice): Monopolowa, Stoli, Svedka, etc.
3-4 raw beets, peeled & cubed.
In a large jar, combine beet cubes & vodka. Allow to soak for 3-4 days in a cool room, away from sunlight. When ready, strain out the beets and discard (unless you have an idea as to how to use vodka soaked beets. I couldn’t think of anything to do with them!). Store away from sunlight. Vodka will be ready to use and will keep for months. (I store mine in the freezer to keep cold).
Note: I’ll post the recipe for The Babuska cocktail later this week, so you have another way to use your beet vodka!
Ginger simple syrup:
1 small knob of ginger, peeled & cut into small cubes
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup water
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over med-low heat and bring to a gentle boil (or until sugar dissolves). Add in cubed ginger and stir to combine. Allow mixture to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until the syrup has a fragrant ginger smell/taste. Strain out ginger bits and allow syrup to cool. Store in a sealed container. Will keep for up to a week.