Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ice "Creame" Sundae Pie

Like a sundae, only easier!

The typo in the title is my own, reflecting, no doubt, an 8-year-old’s absolute giddiness over finding a recipe that combined ice-cream sundaes and pies. I can almost see my shaking hand, scribbling the title, already on a contact sugar high.

Do you remember how your mind was blown when you realized there was such a thing as an ice-cream cake? An entire cake MADE OUT OF ICE CREAM. (I am getting giddy just typing that sentence!) On any childhood trip to the local Baskin & Robbins, I spent most of the time with my nose pressed against their display case, drooling over the double layers of frozen bliss, and the adorable clown decorations -- created using upside-down ice-cream cones. (Not much has changed in 30 years.) So this recipe, a do-it-yourself ice-cream creation, must’ve felt like hitting the jackpot.

Spelling errors aside, though, I’m not sure I can in good conscience call this a recipe. It’s more of an assembly. This pie is really the lazy cook’s way to serve an ice-cream sundae to a crowd, and more power to us. The base is a prepared chocolate cookie crust, containing two layers of ice cream. After a stint in the freezer to firm up the ice cream, you slice it up and serve it to your guests, who are instructed to “make their own” sundae.

Spoon ice cream into prepared crust ... and you're done!
These days, an ice-cream pie is almost quaint. But back in the early ‘80s, this recipe must have seemed revolutionary. Not only is it easy, but it’s also a tad more impressive than simply scooping ice cream into individual serving bowls. No throwing a half-gallon of Neapolitan willy-nilly on the counter and saying to your guests “Have at it.” No, sir, the Ice “Creame” Sundae Pie says, “Look, I already scooped your ice cream. Into a crust. Now have at it.”

Easy enough – and yummy enough. Ice cream is a huge deal in my house. HUGE. In fact, the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour in Burlington, Vermont, remains the factory tour against which I judge all others – frozen treats and otherwise. (Tillamook Cheese and Creamery in Oregon rates a close second because, you guessed it, they serve ice cream at the end.)

A drizzle of hot fudge, whipped cream and cherry on top.
This recipe, from a magazine ad, is pushing the brand Johnston’s, which apparently made ready-made pie crusts and hot fudge sauce. Unable to find either, I snatched up a Keebler ready-made crust, and used up my own hot fudge sauce.

The benefits of using a ready-made crust are twofold. The first benefit is, obviously, convenience. The second, though, is that whatever chemicals are used to keep it shelf-stable also contribute to the ease with which you can slice and serve the crust.  It doesn’t freeze hard, and that’s a good thing. (Something that has always hindered my homemade ice-cream brownie sandwiches, for instance.)

This recipe is also fun, in the same way that assembling your own ice-cream sundae is fun. Drizzle on the hot fudge, sprinkle on the chopped nuts and top it off with a cherry.  You may think you’ve grown beyond a humble Ice “Creame” Sundae Pie. But do yourself a favor and whip this one up. Giddiness will follow.

Ice “Creame” Sundae Pie

1 (16 oz.) JOHNSTON’S Chocolate Flavored Ready Crust Pie Crust
2 pints ice cream (your favorite flavor)
2 packages (5 oz. size) JOHNSTON’s Hot Fudge Ready-Topping
¼ cup chopped nuts
Whipped cream or topping for garnish
Maraschino cherries

Soften 2 pints ice cream in the refrigerator. Spoon into a mixing bowl, stirring until the ice cream is just pliable. Spoon it into the pie crust; cover with the inverted plastic lid and place in freezer until hard.

Serve pie with separate dishes of Hot Fudge Topping (heated), nuts, whipping cream and cherries. Cut ice cream pie into wedges. Then pass the separate toppings and let everyone make their own Ice Cream Sundae Pie.
Do-it-yourself bliss.

·      I used two flavors of ice cream: Haagen-Dazs’ dulce de leche caramel and Breyer’s vanilla , but that was a little overkill. Straight vanilla will allow the flavors of your toppings to shine through. (Breyer’s is, in fact, my ice-cream of choice as there are no “fake” ingredients, and it’s a fraction of the cost of Haagen-Dazs or other premium ice creams. I cannot comment on the availability or quality of their factory tour.)
·      I used my own, homemade hot-fudge sauce.
·      No ice cream sundae would be complete without a blast of whipping cream from the aerosol can. Use real whipping cream (or … COOL WHIP!) as you will.

Why Don’t You …
·      Layer the hot-fudge or other topping in between the pints of ice cream to create a striated effect – and save you even more time when serving.

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