icebox pies are super-cute when made in
individual-size springform pans or ramekins.
you signed up to bring dessert to that neighborhood potluck,
family reunion or backyard cookout. But geez, itís been so
hot, and the very idea of firing up the oven to bake a cake
or pie for an hour or more just makes you swoon and fan
yourself like Blanche Dubois.
desserts are your go-to in the sweltering season. Cool, rich
and ever-so-easy to prepare, theyíre fast, take little or
no cooking, and wait patiently in the refrigerator until you
call them to the table. And any of them makes a festive,
cooling treat for any summer parties coming up.
lemon icebox pie, an old Southern standby, has the texture
of Key lime pie, but gets its potent zing from a double hit
of lemon ó both freshly squeezed juice and finely grated
zest. Itís fabulous after a meal of grilled fish or
anything, really, where a citric bite to refresh the palate
would be welcome. Rev it up with a gingersnap crust and a
garnish of crystallized ginger. Clouds of whipped cream are
the traditional accompaniment.
Brits know how to use berries in their high season, and a
berry mix stars in a traditional summer pudding. Itís not
pudding in the American sense, of course; to the English,
the word "pudding" just means dessert. A
juice-soaked bread exterior conceals an interior that is
nothing but fruit, a wee bit of sugar and lemon juice to
sharpen the berriesí flavor. Itís among our favorite
deliriously rich chocolate pate, served with or without a
light hazelnut cream sauce, is the perfect conclusion to a
light supper that might otherwise be uninteresting ó
salad, say, or chilled soup. Make it up to a week in
advance, or freeze and thaw when you need it. The hazelnut
cream also makes a surprising and superb dressing for fruit
be your little secret, how easy these pleasing desserts are
to make. Tip yourself into your favorite chair, prop up your
feet and enjoy a tall glass of iced tea or a generous pour
someone catches you humming "Summertime, and the liviní
is easy," just smile mysteriously.
8 hours or overnight
any combination of fresh berries you prefer here, but if you
use strawberries, hull and quarter them and donít cook
them with the other berries. Just stir them into the cooked
berries before filling the lined mold. Some people like to
spread the bread pieces with soft butter or jam before using
them to line the mold. A much-loved British dessert, summer
pudding really requires firm, close-textured bread, such as
a Pullman loaf or Pepperidge Farm white sandwich bread.
Regular white bread would end up all squidgy and depressing.
unsliced rectangular loaf of brioche or good quality firm
white bread, crusts removed and allowed to stale slightly
fresh blueberries, about 1 1/2 pints
fresh raspberries, about 2 pints
blackberries, about 1 half-pint
teaspoons fresh lemon juice
cream sweetened with a little sugar to taste
your loaf of bread is whole, remove the crust and cut it
into about 14 slices. Lay the slices out on a rimmed baking
sheet and leave them at room temperature to get a little
stale, about 2 hours.
While the bread is staling, combine the blueberries,
raspberries, blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large
saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the
blueberries pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and
using a sieve, drain the juices from the berries into a
large measuring cup. Set juice and berries aside to cool.
Generously butter a large mixing bowl with a small bottom
and a large top diameter. Line it with plastic wrap. Cut a
piece of bread to fit the bottom, then cut remaining slices
into "soldiers" ó long, rectangular slices. Line
the sides of the bowl with the soldiers (like the staves of
a wine barrel), overlapping as needed to make sure the bowlís
sides are fully covered.
Spoon the fruit and half of the juice into the bread-lined
bowl. Reserve remaining juice for serving. Cover the top of
the fruit with slices of bread, then waxed paper. Place a
plate that fits inside the bowl atop the fruit, and weight
the plate with canned goods or other weights.
Refrigerate weighted pudding and juices at least 8 hours or
serve, remove weight, plate and waxed paper from
refrigerated pudding. Invert a platter over the bowl, then
invert the platter and unmold the pudding, removing the
plastic wrap. Pass the reserved juices at table for spooning
over each serving, and offer sweetened sour cream as a
information per serving: 451 calories, 8 g fat, 4 g
saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 92 g carbohydrates, 50 g
sugar, 7 g protein, 356 mg sodium, 11 g fiber
4 hours or overnight
havenít called refrigerators "iceboxes" in
decades, but this famous old Southern cooler never goes out
of style. A happy accident taught me that I prefer a
gingersnap crust to the more traditional graham cracker
version, but the same amount of graham cracker crumbs can
substitute, if you prefer. For a fun twist, you can serve
the pies in individual springform pans or ramekins.
cups gingersnap crumbs, divided
tablespoons powdered sugar
tablespoons butter, melted
(14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
fresh lemon juice
1 to 1
1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
tablespoons powdered sugar
slices and crystallized ginger
the crust, heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 1/4 cups
gingersnap crumbs with the powdered sugar. Add the melted
butter, and stir to combine. Press the crumbs into a deep
dish pie dish or a 9-inch springform pan, working the crumbs
up the sides of the dish and pressing down firmly with your
hands or the bottom of a measuring cup. (Or divide among six
individual springform pans, a scant 1/4 cup in each.) Bake
the crust, 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside to
cool for at least 30 minutes.
the filling, combine the condensed milk, lemon juice, egg
yolks and lemon zest in a medium bowl, stirring until well
blended. Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust (or in
the individual pans), and bake at 350 degrees for 15
minutes. Remove the pie from the oven, let cool at room
temperature about 30 minutes, then press plastic wrap
tightly on the top of the filling. Refrigerate at least 4
hours or overnight.
serve, whip the heavy cream into soft peaks with a beater or
whisk. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until
firm peaks form. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the
pie. Top the refrigerated pie with the whipped cream (piping
big rosettes around the outside looks pretty), and shower
the remaining 1/4 cup gingerbread crumbs over the whipped
cream. Garnish with thin slices of lemon and crystallized
ginger, if desired, and serve.
information per serving: 558 calories, 26 g fat, 13 g
saturated fat, 205 mg cholesterol, 73 g carbohydrates, 66 g
sugar, 12 g protein, 220 mg sodium, 1 g fiber
PATE WITH HAZELNUT CREAM SAUCE
4 hours or overnight
about 8 servings
this is richness and luxury on a plate. The silky chocolate
ganache steals the show, while the hazelnut cream adds
luxury. If you donít need all eight servings, freeze the
remaining unsliced pate for up to 1 month. Refrigerate any
leftover hazelnut cream, and use within a week.
ounces dark chocolate
ounces semisweet chocolate
tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan
large egg yolks
cup chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella
raspberries or chopped toasted hazelnuts
the pate, generously butter a 4-cup loaf pan (8-by-4
inches). Using several pieces of plastic wrap, line the loaf
pan, pressing carefully into corners. Leave some of the
plastic wrap overhanging the edges of the pan.
Chop the chocolates coarsely and put it in a heatproof bowl
over, but not touching, simmering water in a larger pan. Add
the cream, butter and sugar; heat, stirring frequently,
until chocolate is completely melted, about 15 minutes. Beat
in the egg yolks one by one. Cook, stirring constantly,
until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from
heat; stir in vanilla and salt.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared loaf pan, using
the overhanging plastic wrap to cover the pate. Refrigerate
at least 4 hours or overnight.
the sauce, combine the sour cream and hazelnut spread in a
small bowl. Whisk until well blended, thinning with a bit of
cream or milk if needed. Refrigerate until serving time, up
to a day ahead.
serve, unmold the refrigerated pate onto a platter. Use a
piece of unflavored dental floss (or a hot, wet knife) to
cut the pate into 8 slices. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the
sauce over each serving, garnish with raspberries or
hazelnuts, and serve.
information per serving: 681 calories, 49 g fat, 27 g
saturated fat, 149 mg cholesterol, 59 g carbohydrates, 48 g
sugar, 8 g protein, 179 mg sodium, 7 g fiber