Nectarine-Berry Popsicles

During the summer, at outdoor flea markets and brocantes, you’ll invariably find me on my hands and knees, rifle through boxes that are jammed with stuff, since ya never know what you’ll pluck out. I’m particularly keen on finding old French baking items, although I’ve learned that all those pretty little tin tart molds are best left to clutter someone else’s kitchen drawers. And since I can’t use them for sharing recipes since I’m guessing not many of you have a set of 8 to 10 French mini barquette molds, I have to leave those kinds of treasures behind.

While I’ve had to hold myself back from buying mini tart pans and savarin rings, ceramic kugelhof molds (the first time I found one I was super excited, but found out through subsequent trips to flea markets that they’re pretty common…and cheap), various small, brightly-colored kitchen appliances from the 50s (whose styles were amazing, but I knew I’d never be able to get them repaired), and small cordial glasses, because I realized once you have a set, you really don’t need more. Although that’s never stopped me before…

But I was elated to find these totally insane popsicle molds with brightly-colored handles at a vide-grenier (flea market) out in the French countryside last summer. They were only €1 and the seller seemed all too happy to get them off her hands, and I was happy to oblige. I don’t think they were ever used, and were even in their original box.

They’re meant to be used with “Alsaglace,” an ice cream mix, but I didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t use them with a homemade mixture.

What was also kind of cool was that there was a notice inside (below), that if you sent them a friend’s mailing address, along with 7,50 francs, they’d send them a set, too. I guess presumably they’d prompt them to buy their ice cream mix as well.

Since it’s summer, and since I know most of you can get popsicle molds (unlike mini barquette or tartlet molds), I made bâtonnets glacés, also known as glaces à l’eau, or ice pops.

Not only was I proud of my “find,” but also a vision of pride due to the eco-friendliness of these molds, which were metal rather than plastic. I know that if there is even a wisp of plastic in something I’ve taken a picture of, I’m going to hear about it. So these are mostly metal and I hope that’s okay. I did the best I could.

However the metal molds proved to be a little tough to get the popsicles out of. Waving them over a gas flame helped coax the popsicles out. When I did, I had to set them on a little plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and put them back in the freezer to firm up again. Yes, I will reuse the plastic wrap as I always do. And yes, not a single plastic bag gets tossed out around my place until it’s been used, and used and used and used, until it can’t possibly be used again. I also reuse paper towels, too. (If we were closer friends, I’d let you know about something else that we do to save our planet, which involves personal hygiene, which you can probably guess if you’ve read L’Appart.)

The popsicles made with white nectarine puree, dotted with tangy raspberries and blueberries, turned out great and were very refreshing to have during last week’s heatwave. I used white nectarines but really, you can make them with yellow nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums, or melon. For the molds, two cups (500ml) of popsicle mixture was the perfect amount, but check the capacity of yours; if your popsicle molds are larger, the recipe can be increased accordingly.

This summer, I’ve vowed to skip the flea markets and antique stores that might tempt me to fill the trunk of the car, and my kitchen cabinets, with more kitchenware. I’ve passed on several vintage ice cream machines, since I have one that works pretty well. And I’ve got enough ice cream scoops to equip a team of ice cream shop employees.

And fortunately for this recipe, you don’t need an ice cream machine, but I may break down and get a set of those slick silicone popsicle molds, because I can see there being more popsicles in my future, and I promise to use it over and over, and over and over, again.

Nectarine-Berry Popsicles
Print Recipe
4 to 8 popsicles
This batch made around 2 cups (500ml) of popsicle filling. So you can increase the recipe to suit whatever size popsicle molds that you have. You can reduce the sugar as you wish, or to taste. I wouldn't use more than I did, however, or the popsicles won't freeze as hard.The liqueur is added to help the berries stay softer, but that can be omitted if people are avoiding alcohol or you're serving these to kids. It's a fairly small amount and not very noticeable. Feel free to add more berries to the popsicle molds if you wish, too.
1 pound (450g) nectarines, about 3 medium or 4 small nectarines (yellow or white)
1/2 cup (125ml) water
3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon sugar
freshly-squeezed lemon juice
about 3/4 cup (100g) raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, or a combination
1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur, or kirsch, vodka, or gin (optional)
1. Slice the nectarines and cook them in a saucepan with the water, partially covered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they're cooked through. Remove from heat and add the 3 tablespoons of sugar and a few drops of lemon juice. Let cool then puree in a blender or food processor. Chill until ready to use.
2. To make the popsicles, toss the berries with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and maraschino liqueur (if using), using your fingers to slightly mush the berries up a bit. Not only will that help the sugar and liqueur get into them, but it'll make some streaky swirls in the popsicles.
3. Divide the berries amongst the molds then pour in the nectarine mixture. Freeze until firm.


Refreshing, icy popsicles made with fresh fruit and berries. Recipe from David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop

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32 comments

  • July 30, 2019 3:19pm

    These look so luscious. So much better than the all-fruit pops (at 5€ a pop) that opened catty-corner to Berthillon on the Isle. I find French nectarines so much tastier than any I remember from the US. Cezanne would kill to paint your nectarines.

    • Donna Gasquet
      July 30, 2019 3:54pm

      I so AGREE with you Carol Gillott!…Olfactory and tastebud ‘Nirvana’ they hit the sensory system in the most wonderful way!

      Akin to how I feel when I apply a favorite Guerlain parfum!!!

  • Roxi
    July 30, 2019 3:58pm

    Would I be able to add vodka to these to make the adult popsicles?

    • July 30, 2019 4:07pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, for sure, although don’t add too much, or they may not freeze. I wouldn’t add more than 2 tablespoons, but if you do try them, let us know how they turn out!

  • Donna
    July 30, 2019 4:01pm

    Wonderful recipe and photos as per usual David!…

    Would you happen to know of…or have a link where I might obtain/find those metal moulds here in Lyon?…I live in France and would LOVE to find those hyper-practical (for presentation) molds! I simply love your warm, intelligent writing style and observations!

    • July 30, 2019 4:08pm
      David Lebovitz

      Since they’re vintage, I don’t know of a definite source for them but you might try looking on Etsy or Leboncoin.com – glad you like the blog!

      • Laurie
        July 30, 2019 5:55pm

        Thank you David, looks delicious and refreshing!! And perfect timing, I rent a duplex in Oakland with a nectarine tree in my backyard that is ready to be picked! Kismet.

        One question: do you peel the nectarine skins? Or do they disappear when cooked and blended?

        • July 31, 2019 11:15am
          David Lebovitz

          You’re lucky to have a tree! I’ve never peeled a nectarine, and you wouldn’t peel them here. The skins disappear when cooked and they add a nice color to the puree.

  • Toni McCormick
    July 30, 2019 4:25pm

    I for one would LOVE to see recipes for mini barquette molds and other individual type baking molds. I’m one of those people that have that stuff. Love L’Appart and can’t wait for the movie as well as your next book. David I do wish you’d try to make it to Nouvelle Orleans for a book signing one day soon. We;re almost the next best thing to a trip to France!

  • MR in NJ
    July 30, 2019 4:26pm

    David! You are the best thing to have happened to obscure French flea markets!

    The new silicone molds are wonderful–I bought some last year, plus a set of funny ones for my grandchildren. The “stand” (containing the molds) fits perfectly on a shelf of the freezer in my side-by-side freezer-fridge. When most are gone, I stick the remaining pops into a plastic bag and remove the stand.

    Wondering whether your metal molds imparted a metallic taste to the finished product.

  • Mirika
    July 30, 2019 4:31pm

    These ice pops look so refreshing and fun, especially in the hot summer weather of Tel-Aviv.
    Unfortunately, fresh berries are rare and expensive. Would it be possible to use frozen berries for this recipe rather than fresh ones?

  • July 30, 2019 4:55pm
    David Lebovitz

    Mirika: Yes, it’s okay to use frozen.

    MR in NJ: I’m very sensitive to metallic tastes and I detected none in my popsicles.

    Toni: The problem with doing recipes for mini-molds is that you have to do a supplemental recipe for a 9-inch/23cm tart, and because I use a recipe plug-in so the recipes are printable, that’s a Herculean feat. (Not just to come up with both recipes, but to key in all that information.) So I’m going to stick to standard sizes, for my sanity : )

    Would love to go to New Orleans. If there is a venue there that hosts authors, they can be in touch with the publicity department at Ten Speed Press, my publisher.

  • Patty
    July 30, 2019 5:03pm

    Oh, I love those molds, I want some.

  • Anne Epstein
    July 30, 2019 5:57pm

    Hi David, I have some small tin molds for you (If you’d like *more* clutter in your kitchen!) Want them? My mother used these in the 1950’s when she invited her Canasta Ladies over for lunch and a card-playing afternoon.

  • MR in NJ
    July 30, 2019 6:24pm

    A thought as I admire your photos again: today’s ice pop molds are vertical. The distribution of the berries would be quite different, all falling to the bottom, which becomes the top when you turn it upside-down to eat it (unless the pops were made in gravity-free outer space). Therefore, using far fewer berries might work better unless one were willing to wait until some froze before pouring more liquid in, but that amount of patience eludes me. Another solution might be to puree some of the berries with the cooked nectarines.

    The recipe might be adjusted to mention this, since what are the chances that people will have the kind you found? We’d quickly eat our way through a clump of berries, trying to keep them from falling on the floor, before reaching most of the frozen nectarine part.

    • Tatiana
      July 30, 2019 8:04pm

      MR, I just looked on Amazon and found at least four different styles of horizontal silicon ice pop/bar moulds. So it shouldn’t be a problem to make this recipe as is. Here are just two that I’ve found: Stacking popsicle molds, and Ice cream bar mold set.

  • Phyllis Friedman Perkins
    July 30, 2019 10:52pm

    I’ve used many popsicle molds over the years and these from Amazon are the best I have ever used. Easy to get the pops out: Homemade Popsicle Molds Shapes, Food Grade Silicone Frozen Ice Popsicle Maker BPA-Free, with 50 Popsicle Sticks 50 Popsicle Bags Silicone Funnel and Ice Pop Recipe Book by Miaowoof

  • Claudia
    July 31, 2019 2:45am

    Honey can be used to keep frozen desserts from getting too icy. I learned this from Irwin at eatthelove.com. This post inspires me to dig out my own set of unused popsicle molds. Thanks for a sweet and easy way to beat the heat!

    • Mquinn
      August 4, 2019 10:14pm

      Can this be made into sorbet? Would you change any ingredients?

  • Nicolette
    July 31, 2019 3:10am

    Merci David! It is once again very hot in NY and ice cream/gelato has been the antidote for me. But with this post, you have brought me back to my childhood of the backyard canvas kiddie pool filled with a hose (water always frigid and my mom making wonderful frozen popsicles with the same metal forms! Thanks for bringing back these memories on a hot summer’s night!

  • July 31, 2019 7:08am

    I love the combination of nectarine and berries together! These popsicles look like the ultimate summer treat ♥

  • B
    July 31, 2019 11:11pm

    curious why you cook the nectarines? All this would blend up in a high speed blender.

    • August 1, 2019 10:45am
      David Lebovitz

      Cooking the fruit improves, deepens, and concentrates the flavor – it also incorporates the skins. You could do them by pureeing the raw nectarines and using that (some fruit purées oxidize unless cooked as well, so I recommend using/freezing it quickly)

  • Kristen
    August 1, 2019 4:31am

    Thanks for sharing. Delightful write up and beautiful pictures as always.

  • Rosemary Leicht
    August 1, 2019 3:27pm

    Do not discount using the small tart pans for cookies. Maida Heater had two recipes in a cookie cookbook, Book of Great Cookies. Chocolate Tartlets and Fudge Delices. I bought my 23 French tartlet pans for the sole purpose of making these cookies. Fun cookies.

  • Marianne McGriff
    August 1, 2019 5:50pm

    Hi, David I just read your August newsletter and see that you’ll be in the States in October. Would that be a good place to send Darina’s book to you? I know she enjoyed your book! There was an article in WSJ this morning about « Aoûtiens vs. Juillettistes » vacationing…enjoy yours! Marianne

  • Peggy Bruns
    August 4, 2019 11:40pm

    Just made these popsicles and they were delicious! I will make these a lot this summer. I didn’t have the liqueurs you mentioned so used Grand Marnier instead and they tasted great.

  • tori
    August 7, 2019 3:12am

    hi david! I’ve read your blog since middle school when I first got into cooking but I wanted to say I’ve always loved your blog – thank you for sharing your life, experiences, and recipes!

    • August 7, 2019 10:08am
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks so much for your kinds words – am glad you’ve enjoyed the blog over the years! xx – dl

      • Tori
        August 12, 2019 4:34am

        hopefully will see you in sf sometime (soon)!

  • Grace Policar
    August 10, 2019 10:08pm

    I’ve avoided buying popsicle molds (too many items in the kitchen) but I can imagine this as a granita type of dessert… and so I will try it that way…

  • MartiJ
    August 15, 2019 7:51pm

    David, the worst thing in the world has happened to me: I can no longer eat dairy. (It causes muscle cramps and inflammation in me.)
    This is a disaster to someone who loves making their own ice cream. Even more of a disaster to my friends who gobbled it up alongside. The only thing I find comforting is… nondairy frozen dessert that looks and has the consistency of ice cream… preferably coconut based.
    Do you have a good base recipe? I’ve got a simple 1.5 quart Cuisinart that I have been using, but I have to veer away from your lovely dairy desserts and I want to start making the coconut-based ones. I already have a lovely chocolate sorbet go-to on standby…