butter pie. It doesn't get much easier than this silky
smooth and party-perfect recipe for peanut butter pie.
Bobbie Crew was growing up, her favorite treat was her momís
lemon icebox pie.
pie was far from fancy: It consisted of a vanilla wafer
crust cupping a cool pool of custard-like filling made with
sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. It didnít bake
in the oven ó it set in the refrigerator.
who lives in Leeís Summit, Mo., and blogs about vegan food
at TheVeganCrew.com, now makes a dairy-free version of her
momís lemon icebox pie with soy milk.
very silky and smooth," Crew says. And like all icebox
pies, itís exceptionally sweet on hot summer days.
to the book "Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson
(Ten Speed Press, 2012), icebox pies and cakes gained
popularity between 1930 and 1950, when refrigerators became
fixtures of American kitchens. Most were made by topping a
simple crust with a no-bake filling, then chilling the
dessert in the refrigerator or freezer for several hours.
theyíre easy to assemble, icebox pies are often considered
"cheat" recipes by serious pie bakers, says Meg
Heriford, owner and operator of Ladybird Diner in Lawrence,
totally into icebox pie," Heriford says, "but itís
not really pie. Itís chilled dessert in a shell."
makes a mean chocolate icebox pie, but her favorite recipe
is "Millionaire Pie," an
everything-but-the-kitchen sink dessert made by mixing
whipped cream with cherries, nuts, coconut, pineapple and
canned mandarin oranges.
Cityís Cleaver & Cork restaurant, serves peach icebox
pie ($6) made by whipping cream together with cream cheese,
sugar and vanilla, then freezing the filling in a crushed
pretzel crust. A jam-like layer of sweetened stone fruit
sits on top.
a take on a dessert my mom used to make," says culinary
director Alex Pope, explaining that her version topped a
creamy vanilla base with fresh strawberries.
old-school icebox pie and cake recipes are seductively
simple, but in the new book "Icebox Cakes"
(Chronicle Books), youíll find multi-step recipes that
feature homemade cookies, graham crackers and wafers.
York-based co-author Jessie Sheehan developed many of the
recipes with her favorite childhood treats in mind: The
Marshmallow-Peanut Butter icebox cake was inspired by
Fluffernutter sandwiches, and Peppermint-Chocolate is a nod
to Baskin-Robbinsí mint chocolate chip ice cream.
says icebox cakes are always a hit with her dinner guests,
and they make entertaining easy because theyíre made hours
or even a day ahead of time.
like to get a lot done before anyone arrives," she
says. "I love these cakes because that aspect of the
dinner party is taken off my plate."
says icebox cakes also freeze well. She recommends letting
them set up in the refrigerator first so that the dry
components (cookies, wafers, graham crackers) have time to
absorb moisture from the filling. Icebox cakes made with
homemade cookies take longer to set than cakes made with
store-bought cookies, she adds. Most of the recipes in
"Icebox Cakes" are best when they chill in the
fridge for 24 hours.
cakes are even better after two days in the fridge, Sheehan
says, "but I wouldnít go longer than two days."
first recipe listed in "Icebox Cakes" nods to a
Nabisco recipe from the 1930s. The "Old School"
tastes like a decadent cake version of an Oreo cookie and is
made by layering chocolate wafers with whipped cream.
Sheehan says itís right up her alley.
not into fancy desserts," Sheehan says. "I donít
want a flourless cake with a drizzle of raspberry; I want
these old-school cakes."
Icebox cakes are best made a day in advance, but they donít
last long after you cut into them. Most should be eaten
within two to three days, Jessie Sheehan says.
Never layer a pudding-based icebox cake with cookies,
Sheehan says, because the cookies will get mushy.
"Cookies go with whipped cream," she says,
"and pudding goes with graham crackers or
Decorate icebox cake right before serving or the toppings
(banana slices, chocolate chunks, etc.) might sink into the
soft top and make the dessert look droopy.
While itís possible to stabilize whipped cream and store
it in the fridge, freshly whipped cream makes for the best
icebox cakes, Sheehan says.
make individual icebox cakes, layer ingredients in a Mason
jar, chill, then serve the jarred desserts in a bucket of
ice at a party or picnic.
For recipes that require a springform pan, remove the outer
ring just before serving. Donít use a springform pan to
contain icebox cakes with runny pudding and caramel layers:
The structure could collapse.
lovers will flip over this deep purple pie, which
incorporates ricotta cheese and a hint of lemon.
one 9-inch deep-dish pie
tablespoon unsalted butter
blueberries, plus 1/2 pint for topping
cup granulated sugar
tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
tablespoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
ricotta cheese, at room temperature
cracker crust, store-bought or homemade
the butter in a medium-size saucepan. Add the blueberries
and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the berries
begin to release their juices.
together the sugar and starch in a small bowl. Stir into the
blueberry mixture, then add the lemon juice and zest and
cook 5 minutes longer, until the mixture thickens and
from the heat and stir in the cream cheese and ricotta.
the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree for
about 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
the blueberry and cheese mixture into the prepared crust.
Arrange the half-pint of blueberries evenly over the surface
of the pie, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours or
overnight. Serve chilled.
serving, based on 8: 454 calories (52 percent from fat), 27
g total fat (14 g saturated), 66 mg cholesterol, 44 g
carbohydrates, 11 g protein, 310 mg sodium, 2 g dietary
"A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked
Pies" (Lark; 2012)
doesnít get much easier than this silky smooth and
party-perfect recipe for peanut butter pie, which tastes a
bit like Nutter Butter cookies.
6 to 8 servings
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
tablespoon lemon juice
tablespoon vanilla extract
heavy cream, whipped (about 3 cups)
9-inch graham cracker crust, store-bought or homemade
tablespoons chocolate syrup
the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer
on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the sweetened
condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until well
blended. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in the
whipped cream. Pour into the graham cracker crust. Drizzle
with chocolate syrup, then refrigerate for several hours.
serving, based on 6: 953 calories (60 percent from fat), 66
g total fat (28 g saturated), 118 mg cholesterol, 77 g
carbohydrates, 22 g protein, 642 mg sodium, 3 g dietary
"Southern Cooking for Company" (Thomas Nelson;
on time? Use whipped topping instead of whipped cream to
make this dramatic and decadent dessert, which can also be
served frozen. Look for the chocolate wafers in the ice
cream toppings section of the grocery store.
heavy whipping cream
tablespoons powdered sugar
9-ounce packages chocolate wafers (60 wafers)
4-ounce semisweet chocolate baking bar, finely chopped
cup hot fudge sauce, warmed
1.4-ounce chocolate-covered toffee candy bars, chopped
whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until
foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft
whipped cream into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip one
corner of the bag to make a hole about 1 inch in diameter.
one-third of the chocolate wafers in the bottom of a 9-inch
springform pan; pipe one-third of the whipped cream over the
wafers, spreading evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with
one-third of the semisweet chocolate. Repeat layers twice,
then cover and chill for 24 hours.
with fudge sauce and sprinkle with toffee candy bars just
serving, based on 8: 591 calories (55 percent from fat), 37
g total fat (20 g saturated), 93 mg cholesterol, 63 g
carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 335 mg sodium, 2 g dietary
"The Southern Pie Book" (Oxmoor House; 2013)
VELVET ICEBOX CAKE
red velvet wafers and cinnamon-flecked whipped cream make
this red velvet recipe perfect for overachieving icebox
cake-makers. Store-bought wafers will also work, according
to "Icebox Cakes" co-author Jessie Sheehan.
12 to 15 servings
the red velvet wafers (makes about 60)
minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
cups granulated sugar
cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
teaspoons pure vanilla extract
tablespoons whole milk
tablespoon light corn syrup
tablespoon red food coloring
the cinnamon-cream cheese whipped cream (makes about 7 cups)
cups cream cheese, at room temperature
tablespoon pure vanilla extract
teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for decorating
make the wafers, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour,
cocoa powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted
with the paddle attachment, cream the granulated sugar,
butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla on medium-low speed until
slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat.
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
small bowl, whisk the milk, corn syrup and food coloring to
combine. Add the milk mixture to the butter-sugar mixture
with the mixer on medium-low speed; beat until just
combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with the rubber
the flour mixture all at once to the mixer bowl. With the
mixer on low speed, beat until the dough just begins to pull
away from the bottom of the bowl and forms a cohesive mass.
Scrape the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate all the
the dough in half and place each half on a sheet of plastic
wrap. Loosely wrap the dough and form each half into a log
about 2 inches wide. Roll the logs along the counter, still
wrapped in plastic wrap, in order to shape into perfect
cylinders. Tighten the plastic wrap around the logs and
freeze them for at least 2 hours, or overnight. If you have
trouble forming the soft dough into logs, form the dough
into a disk (or loose log shape), wrap it in plastic wrap,
and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes, just until it
is cold enough to shape into the necessary log. Line two
baking sheets with parchment paper.
frozen, unwrap one of the logs and use a sharp paring or
chefís knife to cut it into thin slices about 1/8-inch
thick; rotate the log as you slice, or the side sitting on
the cutting surface will flatten.
the slices about 1 inch apart on one of the prepared baking
sheets and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
Repeat with the second dough log and prepared baking sheet.
If you need more room to fit all your dough slices, simply
arrange them on additional sheets of parchment paper, layer
the dough-covered papers one on top of the other on the
second baking sheet in the freezer, and switch them out as
you bake off each batch. (You can also wrap the baking
sheets in plastic wrap and freeze the rounds for up to 1
a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Place one baking sheet of the frozen dough rounds in the
oven and bake until they appear dry, 10 to 12 minutes,
rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. Using a
stiff metal or plastic spatula, immediately press down
lightly on each cookie to flatten it. Let the wafers cool on
the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer them to a
wire rack to cool completely. The wafers should be very
crispy when cooled. If they are not, place them back in the
oven for 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat to bake the additional
sheets of dough rounds.
the wafers in an airtight container as soon as they have
cooled. They will remain crispy at room temperature, tightly
sealed, for about 24 hours. Freezing the baked wafers in a
resealable plastic bag also works well, for up to 1 month.
There is no need to defrost the wafers before assembling
make the whipped cream, refrigerate the bowl of a stand
mixer and the whisk attachment (or a medium metal bowl and
beaters from a hand mixer) until quite cold, about 15
minutes. Once chilled, remove the bowl and whisk from the
refrigerator, add the cream cheese, and whip it on medium
speed until smooth. Add the cream and continue to whip on
medium speed until the cream is incorporated. Add the
powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and, on medium-high
speed, whip the cream mixture until it holds stiff peaks
that stand upright when the whisk is raised (the stiffer the
cream, the more support it will provide the wafers in your
cake). Use it immediately.
9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap that hangs
slightly over the pan sides. Using a small offset spatula or
the back of a spoon, spread a generous layer of the whipped
cream on the bottom of the lined pan. Cover as much of the
cream as possible with a layer of the wafers, filling any
gaps with broken wafers. The pieces should touch. The goal
is a solid layer of wafers.
layering whipped cream and wafers until you run out or reach
the top of the pan, ending with whipped cream. Gently cover
the cake with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Peel
the plastic wrap from the cake, place the serving platter
over the cake, and invert the cake onto the platter.
Carefully remove the pan and plastic-wrap lining and lightly
dust the cake with ground cinnamon. Using a knife, cut it
into slices and serve.
serving, based on 12: 618 calories (63 percent from fat), 44
g total fat (27 g saturated), 145 mg cholesterol, 52 g
carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 203 mg sodium, 1 g dietary
"Icebox Cakes" (Chronicle Books; 2015)