Who knew cherries and blueberries could be so good?
We just got back from a family vacation to the western part of Michigan (specifically Grand Haven and Muskegon). The kids had a blast. I’ve been to Lake Michigan before, but I had forgotten how beautiful that area is. Two things Michigan is well-known for are cherries and blueberries. Two things I am well-known for absolutely hating are cherries and blueberries. People think I’m crazy, but I have just never been a fan of most fruits, especially berries. However, when it was suggested that we take the kids cherry picking and blueberry picking, we jumped at it. It sounded like a fun day, and just because I don’t like fruit doesn’t mean my kids shouldn’t.
They had so much fun picking cherries! It made the long drive to the orchard totally worth it. Before we knew it, they had picked 7 ½ pounds of cherries. And here’s the best part:
Reese ate cherries! This is a huge thing. Reese doesn’t eat much. That’s why he’s on a specialized formula. But while picking cherries, he ate about 7-10 of them. The pictures don’t really do it justice, but he was covered in cherry juice by the time we were done. And the cherries where phenomenal! As much as I have always hated cherries, they were absolutely fantastic. Apparently I just needed to eat them fresh off the tree. On to the blueberries!
Again, before we realized it, the kids had picked about 5 pounds of blueberries. And they were the best blueberries ever. Again, I hate berries, but these were amazing. But now we are faced with a conundrum. What do we do with 7 ½ pounds of cherries and 5 pounds of blueberries?
Enter the ice pop.I was pretty pleased with this one. I came up with it while walking between in cherry trees, and really had no idea if it would work. But we decided to try it anyway. Job #1… deal with the cherries.
I don’t eat cherries, so I didn’t really know how to deal with the pit. Do you have a way that works well for you? A cherry pitter? A chopstick? Whatever works for you, go for it. I used a knife and a cutting board. The kitchen looked like a scene from a low-budget horror flick by the time I was done.
Throw the cherries and blueberries into a blender or food processor with the juice of a lemon and buzz it up until it’s smooth. Then, if you do it the way I did it, you will realize you forgot a step. That’s when you will make a simple syrup (boil water and sugar together until sugar is dissolved) and let it cool. Pour in the simple syrup and add a pinch of salt. Buzz it up again until it’s all well-combined. At this point you can decide if you want to strain it or not. I opted not to, and I think it was a good choice. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze (rocket shapes shown here are optional, of course).
While this didn’t completely solve the problem of an overabundance of fruit in our house, it certainly was a great experiment. If you make these, let me know what you think and how they turned out for you!
Cherry Blueberry Ice Pops
- 2 cups cherries, pitted
- 1 cup blueberries
- juice from 1 lemon (approx ¼ cup of juice)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- pinch of salt
- Combine sugar and water in a small pan. Bring to a low boil for 4-5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- Put sugar syrup in a food processor or blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until completely liquefied.
- Carefully pour the mixture into ice pop molds.
- Freeze until set (8 hours or overnight should do the trick)