JUNE 1999

Chocolate Syrup

Damian's Nectar

PB-and-Banana Chocolate Milkshake

Ice Cream Pie

Pots de Creme

Sweet Spot


Ice Cream Pie

Tips: A chocolate wafer/semisweet chocolate/cinnamon crust is filled with a mixture of coffee ice cream, miniature chocolate chips, and crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans, then served with a bittersweet fudge sauce. If you're caffeine-sensitive, don't eat this at night! Adults would probably appreciate this more than children, but this recipe is very flexible and can be adapted for kids (see Note). The sauce must be made ahead, but it can be kept in the fridge for up to a week; the crust must be made ahead, too, but it can be kept frozen for at least 2 weeks. The completed pie should freeze at least 6 hours before it is served. Make sure you use good-quality ice cream; I love homemade ice cream, but it isn't suitable here, as it freezes too hard to cut and serve the pie neatly.

Bittersweet Fudge Sauce:
  • 8 ozs. good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ozs. good-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • Few grains salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Optional: Vanilla extract or a liqueur that complements the pie filling
  • 4-1/2 ozs. chocolate wafers, broken into pieces (I use Nabisco Famous brand, and this amount is half of a nine-ounce package. These wafers are usually found near the ice cream in markets.)
  • 2 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped OR 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 to 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans, coarsely chopped or ground (I pulse them briefly in a food processor fitted with a steel blade)
  • 1 quart best-quality coffee ice cream

For Sauce:
Combine chopped chocolates, light corn syrup, and salt in medium heatproof bowl. In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream until very hot, stirring occasionally. Pour about half of hot cream into chocolates.

Set bowl over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Gently whisk chocolate mixture frequently until partially melted. Gradually add remaining cream, whisking gently until chocolates are completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. Cool briefly, then chill until needed. Cover tightly when cold.

For Crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a nine-inch heatproof glass pie plate with a twelve inch square of aluminum foil, shiny side up, making foil as smooth as possible. Fold any excess foil over edges of pie plate.

In food processor fitted with steel blade, combine broken chocolate wafers and chopped chocolate (or chips). Process until both ingredients are finely ground. Turn into medium bowl. With large spoon, stir in cinnamon until well-mixed. Add melted butter; mix thoroughly. Turn into lined pie plate.

With fingers or back of spoon, pat about 2/3 of crust mixture onto sides of pie plate. Form a high rim that extends slightly above edges of pie plate. Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom to form an even layer. Note that this is a thick crust.

Bake in preheated oven 6 to 7 minutes, or just until set. Cool at room temperature, then freeze for at least 1-1/2 hours. When frozen solid, remove from freezer. Working quickly, loosen any foil folded over edges of pie plate. Remove whole crust, still in foil, from pie plate; place on flat surface. Gently peel foil from crust sides in small sections. Maneuver crust so that foil-covered bottom rests on one hand. With the other hand, gently and carefully tear foil from crust bottom in small pieces. Replace crust (now without foil) in pie plate--be careful! Crust is fragile! Don't worry if a few small pieces of the top edge of the crust break off, though. Freeze until needed. If the crust has been made ahead of time, wrap airtight.

For Filling: In large, nonreactive, metal bowl, combine miniature chocolate chips and chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans. Stir well. Now, soften ice cream. Remove carton top and plastic liner (if any). Microwave at 50% (medium) power for 10 to 20 seconds, just until ice cream is softened (ice cream should not melt, but if a bit of melting occurs at the edges, it's OK). Timing may vary, depending on your microwave. Work quickly now! With a large spoon, scoop out chunks of the softened ice cream and place in the bowl with the chip-espresso bean mixture. With the large spoon, combine all ingredients, mixing only until thoroughly blended. Quickly remove crust (still in the pie plate) from the freezer; remove any wrappings. Turn Filling into crust and spread as evenly as possible, compacting it slightly to prevent air pockets. Immediately replace pie in freezer. Freeze about 3 hours, then cover tightly with foil. Freeze at least 3 hours longer (6 hours total) before serving.

To serve: First, reheat the sauce. Use only as much as you think you'll need (if sauce is repeatedly reheated and then re-chilled, it may become grainy). Scrape cold sauce into heatproof bowl. Set over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir very frequently just until smooth and warm (sauce should not become hot). (Alternatively, scrape cold sauce into microwaveable bowl. Microwave at 50% (medium) power for short intervals, stirring well between each, just until melted, smooth, and warm.) If desired, when sauce has been heated, add 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract or up to 2 Tbsp. of a liqueur that complements the pie filling (for this filling, try rum, coffee liqueur, orange liqueur, or brown creme de cacao).

Remove pie from freezer. With large, sharp, heavy serrated knife, cut pie into wedges of desired size. Place each wedge on individual serving plate. Drizzle a small amount of warm fudge sauce over each serving; pass more sauce so each person can pour it on as desired. Allow pie to stand 3 minutes at room temperature before serving (do not omit this step--it allows the pie to soften just slightly, and gives it better flavor and texture). Quickly re-freeze any remaining pie.

8 to 10 servings

Note: Suggestions for kids or to vary the pie:

  • Omit the cinnamon in the crust.
  • The filling can be solely ice cream (no chocolate chips or chocolate-covered espresso beans) in any flavor you choose.
  • Make the filling with two kinds of ice cream--a bottom layer (use one pint) of one flavor, and a top layer (another pint) of something else--how about a bottom layer of raspberry sorbet (perhaps with chocolate chips added), and a top layer of vanilla ice cream? Or, you could marble the two flavors. There are many possibilities here.

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