Desserts can be tricky for a Seriously Simple cook, especially as the temperature goes up. Making pie dough or baking a fancy cake isn’t what I have in mind in the heat of the season. Ice cream pie answers the call for a decadent, delicious and very easy to-put-together dessert. Here are two of my favorite ice cream pies, perfect for entertaining since they are need to be made ahead and are easy to assemble:
The first, my 5-minute icy confection says it all… five minutes for a wow-factor sweet. Since you are buying the crust, insert the pre-made crust into a pretty pie plate, either simple glass or porcelain for a pretty presentation. Softened ice cream is spooned into the crust and frozen. Then a simple decoration can be added like nuts, drizzled syrup or grated chocolate. A warm berry compote is spooned over the pie slice just before serving. For a Fourth of July theme, use strawberry and vanilla ice cream, no chocolate syrup, and use all blueberries for the sauce (6 6-ounce containers); garnish with strawberries and whipped cream—Red, white and blue— It’s a knockout summer dessert.
In the spirit of America’s favorite dessert, this Banana Split Ice Cream Torte requires a little more work since you put the cookie crust together but is fun to be create your own flavor palate. The ice cream varieties have exploded so look for your favorite combinations to build this torte. If you want to make it Fourth of July festive, arrange raspberries and blueberries (that can be frozen) on the outside border. I also look for little American Flags to decorate the top of the pies.
Make sure the ice cream is soft enough to work with for both pies but is not already melting; remove the ice cream from freezer for 20 minutes before working with it. Either of these is easy to make and can involve children as well. Kids can help decorate the finished frozen dessert. This is a great item to keep in your freezer. Remember to remove the pie from the freezer 15 minutes before serving for easy slicing. Enjoy.
Five-Minute Ice Cream Sundae Pie with Berry Sauce
Serves 6 to 8
1 quart (or 2 different flavored pints) favorite ice cream, slightly softened,
1 (9-inch) purchased graham cracker piecrust or chocolate-cookie piecrust
1/3 cup purchased chocolate syrup (in squirt bottle)
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, sliced or chopped
2 (6-ounce) containers blueberries
2 (6-ounce) containers raspberries
2 (6-ounce) containers blackberries
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Spoon ice cream into crust (if doing two different ice creams, spread one on top of the other); smooth top.
- Squeeze chocolate sauce in straight lines over pie, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Draw tip of knife through chocolate lines, forming pretty pattern.
- Sprinkle with almonds; freeze until firm.
- Just before serving, bring all berries, 2 tablespoons water, and brown sugar to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring gently, about 4 minutes; remove from heat. Cut pie into wedges; place on plates. Spoon warm sauce over and serve immediately
The pie may be prepared up to 2 weeks ahead, covered tightly, and frozen.
Banana Split Ice Cream Torte
Serves 6 to 8
6 tablespoons sliced blanched almonds
40 chocolate wafers (One 9-ounce box)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 quart French vanilla ice cream, softened
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
- Preheat the oven to 350° Toast the almonds on a baking sheet for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the almonds for the garnish.
- For the crust, process the remaining 1/4 cup of the almonds in a food processor for 10 seconds. Add the cookies and process until they resemble crumbs. Transfer the crumbled cookies and nuts to a medium mixing bowl and add the butter, mixing with your fingers until completely combined. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2-inch springform pan. Pat the crumb mixture on the bottom and halfway up the sides. (Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly even.) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or freeze for 1 hour.
- For the filling, puree 2 bananas in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the ice cream and process until well blended. With a few pulses, blend in the chocolate and then the remaining sliced banana, being sure not to break it up too much.
- Pour the filling into the crust in the pan in an even layer, smoothing it down. Cover it with wax paper and place it on a baking sheet to keep it level. Freeze for 1 hour. When the ice cream is set but not completely frozen, garnish the top with toasted almonds and the grated chocolate in an even layer. Freeze the torte for at least 12 hours, then cover it with plastic wrap. Remove the torte from the freezer 15 minutes before serving, place it on a serving platter, and release the sides of the pan. Use a serrated knife to cut the pie in slices.
May be prepared up to 1 month ahead, covered tightly, and frozen.