Almost three years ago when we were happily freezing ice pops in our freezer at home we came up with the idea of adding Christmas cakes to our market stall. We ended up having leftover cakes, so we decided to try our hand at a Christmas pop; that’s how the idea came about.
Essentially it’s just a really delicious custard spiked with spices and brandy, a take on a recipe from the McConnell brothers that featured in Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine a few years ago.
When the powers of Christmas cake and custard combine, you have Christmas Pops, which people are still asking for since we first started selling them in 2011. If you don’t feel like going Christmas crazy and making your own Christmas cake, use a good quality store-bought cake or steal some off your grandma.
Makes approx 15 pops
120g homemade or store-bought Christmas cake, coarsely crumbled
40g butter, melted
30g raw sugar
12 egg yolks
150g raw caster sugar
550ml pouring cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 orange and 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
1 tbsp brandy
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg and ground cloves
Preheat oven to 180C. Combine cake, butter and sugar in a bowl. Toss to combine, scatter on a tray lined with baking paper and bake shaking occasionally until golden and crisp (5-8 minutes). Set aside to cool.
Combine milk, cream, vanilla, rind and spices in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the simmer and set aside to infuse (30 minutes). Whisk together yolks and caster sugar until thick pale and fluffy (5-6 minutes). Return milk mixture to the heat and bring to just below the simmer, carefully pour in a thin steady stream while whisking into the egg mixture until combined. Return mixture to a clean saucepan and stir over a medium heat continuously until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (7-10 minutes). Removed from heat pour into a bowl, add brandy and stir occasionally until cool, then refrigerate until chilled and thick. This makes about 1.2 litres of mixture.
Divide Christmas cake between moulds, top with custard mixture, stir a little with an ice pop stick then freeze until semi-frozen. Add ice pop sticks and freeze until firm (8 hours – overnight).
Place moulds briefly in cold water, then pull stick to remove. Serve pops quickly.
Pure Pops will be selling their famous Christmas pops at the Bondi Farmers' Market from December 21.