New York City is teeming with frozen treats, but sometimes it’s just more fun to make your own, first getting your hands delightfully sticky in the kitchen and then waiting with anticipation for the pops to freeze. This summer offers a crop of new ice-cream and popsicle cookbooks, and first up for review is Charity Ferreira’s Perfect Pops: The 50 Best Classic & Cool Treats.
This short book is really for ice cream/popsicle novices — most of the recipes only require four or five ingredients and consist of pureeing fruit with water and freezing it in molds. For experienced cooks, this might seem obvious, but for the beginner, the book presents a nice selection of classic-yet-upscale flavor pairings (lavender and lemonade, plum and shiso, and hibiscus and pomegranate, for example) that help elevate pops from the classic grocery-store-flavor set.
As the book progresses, the pops get somewhat more complex: Ferreira introduces concepts like layering flavors, preparing custard-based bars, and making boozy pops in flavors like Negroni and Prosecco-rose petal (a way to deal with the kids in the house, no?).
One minor complaint about the book: While the photographs are striking and beautifully styled, many of them do not correspond exactly with the recipe. For example, pineapple pops with chile and lime are photographed with lemongrass (or some other herb) handles instead of the instructed stick. Ditto the mango-lassi pops. Still, this is a minor issue. More extensive headnotes and a slightly longer intro to the world of popsicles would also have been appreciated, but at the end of the day, there’s probably only so much one can say about ice-pop-making.
All in all, this is a good book for beginners who want to dip their toes (and fingers) into the world of ice-pop-making. It’s easy and breezy. And really, when you’re talking popsicles, what more could you ask for?
Up tomorrow: Fany Gerson tackles the Mexican ice pop in her new book, Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas.
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