Used to be on a sweaty summer’s day you dashed to the store, stuck your hand in the deep-freeze and pulled out a box of factory-made pops on a stick.
Or, if you had a mother of some invention, she might stir up a pitcher of sugary Kool-Aid and pour it into a clanky metal ice-cube tray or a paper cup. And then you would wait.
And wait. What eventually froze into kiddy-colored icebergs would get kerplunked in a glass, soon to drip down your chin.
These days, the cold stuff parading on sticks is more whimsical, packed with real fruit — even the occasional veggie — and downright delicious.
And it’s making for a hot little corner in the summer confection department.
“Popsicles are the now cupcake,” said Charity Ferreira, a former pastry chef and author of “Perfect Pops: The 50 Best Classic & Cool Treats” (Chronicle, $16.95).
Leave it to the California-based kitchen whiz to have concocted pops ranging from old-school, can’t-be-beat (triple-layered rocket pops, jam-packed with berries and yogurt) to spiked with a few shakes of heat (Mexican chocolate pops with cayenne), upscale and of-the-moment (prosecco-rose petal pops) and not-for-the-kiddies-please booze.
Tarry not, summer’s hot and you’ve got some freezin’ to do.
Triple-layered Rocket Pops
Makes 6 pops
This pop, made with fruit and yogurt frozen in racy stripes, is a big hit with the outer-space set. Prep: 30 minutes, freeze: 6-8 hours.
1 cup blueberries (about 6 ounces)
4 teaspoons sugar
1 cup vanilla or lemon low-fat or whole-milk yogurt
1 cup raspberries (about 6 ounces)
Puree the blueberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. With a wooden spoon, press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, extracting as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the yogurt until well combined. Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds, dividing it evenly and filling each mold about one-third full. Freeze until set, 30 to 45 minutes.
Divide ⅔ cup of the yogurt evenly among the molds, placing it on top of the blueberry layer and filling each mold another third of the way full. Freeze until the yogurt layer is set, 30 to 45 minutes.
Repeat the process used for the blueberries, this time with the raspberries. Carefully spoon the raspberry mixture on top of the yogurt layer, dividing it evenly. Insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least four hours or up to one week.
To release the pops, run hot water over the outside of the molds for a few seconds; gently pull the sticks. From “Perfect Pops: The 50 Best Classic & Cool Treats,” by Charity Ferreira.
Nutrition information per serving: 64 calories, 11 percent of calories from fat, 0.78 g fat, 0.35 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 27 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.