Ask a Chef

Ask a Chef: James Rucker

Ask a Chef: James Rucker

How can I satisfy a craving for a homemade fruit Popsicle without the muss and fuss?

We asked James Rucker, proprietor of Charlottesville, Va.’s Pantheon Popsicles, made from fresh, whole fruits. Here’s what he said.

1. Locate the freshest, ripest fruit grown in your area. Midsummer in Virginia we get the most succulent watermelons you could imagine. Seedless is what I use, but you can remove the seeds while listening to a Bob Marley CD if you want. Cool the melon all day in the fridge.

2. Slice the melon right up the middle, then into smaller sections. Slice off the white rind.

3. Fill a blender with the melon, and add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to enhance the flavor. Add sugar depending on the size of your blender—maybe try 1/2 cup, and see if that sweetens it nicely. You don’t need a lot of sugar, but you’ll like it better with a little because the coldness of the pop numbs the taste buds a bit.

4. Don’t blend overlong, just enough to liquify the fruit.

5. Pour into an ice tray. Freeze until frozen; crack into a bowl, and eat with a spoon.

July/August 2011 p.20

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