This post goes out to everyone with a teething toddler. My 3 year old is finally getting his last set of molars (he's been late with all his teeth), and you parents know what teething does to a kid. Their poor mouths hurt a lot, which means they don't want to eat much. The combination of pain, hunger and blood sugar swings makes them into cranky little beasts. Can't say I blame them, I'd be pretty miserable too.
I discovered the original recipe for these custard pops about a year ago and they were a big favorite last summer. I've tweaked the recipe more and more and eventually I just had to write down my variation. They're pretty tasty, teething or not... but they're a godsend when you have a sick or teething toddler who won't eat much proper nourishing food. If you're making them for a child who's not eating much, be sure to make them with full fat milk and yogurt.
Fruity Custard Pops
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 banana (on the brown side)
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup fruit puree (applesauce, freshly pureed berries or soft stone fruit... strawberries and peaches go well) or 1 jar fruit baby food
Put the milk and eggs in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk regularly as it warms up, once it starts to get slightly steamy add the sweet stuff & the vanilla. After that whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. (Food safety note: I've checked with a candy thermometer, the point where it starts to thicken is around 165 degrees, which is the safe point for cooked eggs.) As soon as it starts to bubble, take it off the heat and pour into your blender. Add the banana, yogurt and other pureed fruit. Blend thoroughly until there are no more banana chunks. If it's very frothy, let it sit for a bit before filling molds. Fill your ice pop molds to about 1/4" below the top of the mold, put the sticks in and pop in the freezer until frozen. Makes 8-12 ice pops.
A few words about ice pop molds: I see these fancy, expensive instant ice pop molds are all the rage. I'm not impressed. To be honest, I'm lazy. I would rather make 8-12 healthy ice pops in one fell swoop and have them sitting in my freezer than mess around with fixing up a fresh pop every time a whining child asks for one.
However, I also don't recommend going with the cheapest ones you can find in the Summer section at your local discount store. When you try to pull the pop out of the mold, you'll often find that the stick pops right out. Cue sobbing toddler. The ones we use most are Tovolo molds, we have the ones that look like ice cream cones and some of the normal ones. They're a little more expensive, but they're sturdy and frustration free. We also sometimes use the Kinderville silicone molds, however those are a little tough for little hands to manage squeezing the pop up without squeezing it out and onto the floor. The Kinderville ones are nearly drip proof though, which is nice.