It’s officially summer, aka popsicle season! Basically the most wonderful time of the year (besides all those other times I might declare #themostwonderfultimeoftheyear)!
For my first frozen pops of the season, I’ve mixed roasted apricots and vanilla-flecked créme fraîche. This match was born in my minds tastebud (gross. sorry.) and it worked out so well! The roasted apricots are just sweet with a bit of tartness that makes such a lovely pairing with the lush, vanilla bean créme fraîche. The flavors of these are maybe one of my favorites yet (big words, considering all these popsicles), but their texture is equally fantastic–the apricot layers have an almost sorbet-like consistency, with just a little give under the tooth, and the créme fraîche is so creamy without any iciness. Swoon.
Roasted Apricot & Vanilla Crème Fraîche Pops
Makes about 10 popsicles (I use THIS popsicle mold).
This recipe starts with a simple vanilla sugar—you will likely have extra, but since apricots can be very tart, even after roasting, extra sugar is nice to have on hand.
For the vanilla sugar:
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
For the apricots:
3 lbs (more or less) ripe apricots
1/2 cup sugar, divided (you may need up to 2/3 cup)
1 cup water
For the crème fraîche:
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the sugar with the insides of the vanilla bean and rub the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar until well distributed and the sugar smells of vanilla. Set aside.
Halve and pit the apricots and place the halves onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Toss with 1/4 cup of the vanilla sugar and roast in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until the apricots are soft, release some syrup, and begin to caramelize around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, using either a blender, food processor, or immersion blender (and deep bowl), blend the roasted apricots with 1 cup of water and an additional 1/4-1/3 (to taste) cup of the vanilla sugar until smooth. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, milk, and 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar until combined.
Fill popsicle molds about 1/3 full with the apricot mixture, then divide the crème fraîche mixture between the molds, and top with the remaining apricot mixture. Use a skewer or chopstick to swirl the flavors together a bit, or leave them in layers, and freeze for about 1 hour or until the pops begin to firm up. Once they begin to firm, place in the sticks and continue to freeze solid, preferably overnight.