Strawberry Baked Alaska Pie

Remember baked Alaska? A fancy frozen dessert from the 70’s? Made out of a round layer of yellow cake topped with a mound of ice cream and then covered with a thick layer of meringue which was briefly baked in the oven to brown the meringue lightly. Well, this is 2018 and we have improved that to the Baked Alaska Pie! I posted a recipe for it in April using a gingersnap crust.  My family was crazy for it.

This time I am using a pre-made graham crust, strawberry ice cream and the traditional meringue topping. It’s a better balance of flavors than the old baked Alaska because the pie crust is ¼ the thickness of the layer of cake in a standard baked Alaska so it is just a touch of crust. The strawberry ice cream pairs with that more traditional graham cracker crust exceptionally well. My guy was pretty impressed with the look of it when I pulled it out of the freezer to serve dessert. I am betting chocolate ice cream would be crazy good too! Next version…

This is remarkably easy to do but you must have patience as there are several steps and a lot of chilling in the freezer. You will be rewarded with an impressive looking dessert although it can get kinda sloppy when you serve it especially if you didn’t chill it again after the meringue browning step. Which I kinda did when I made this pie; it was late and we couldn’t wait; only chilled it 10-13 minutes…..still delish!

Baked Alaska Pie, Strawberry version – serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pre-made gf graham cracker crust

Most of a standard big carton of strawberry ice cream

5 egg whites, room temp.

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Let the ice cream warm a few minutes so it isn’t rock hard and is easily scooped.  Fill the pie crust with the ice cream; spread it to cover evenly and mound it slightly.  Put in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

Make the meringue: put the room temp egg whites in a mixing bowl, add the salt and the cream of tartar. Beat until it is in soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time while it beats to the stiff peak stage. It should be glossy and hold a stiff peak of curled meringue. Get the pie out of the freezer and quickly mound the meringue over the pie making absolute sure you cover every bit of ice cream with lots of meringue which will act as insulation.  Chill for 2-4 hours in freezer. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slide the frozen pie in for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned, return to freezer for 30-60 minutes. You can serve it immediately but it will be a bit squishy; best to chill it again. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife and dig in. Enjoy!

strawberry pie slice

A bit squishy as I only chilled for 10 minutes after browning; couldn’t wait to enjoy it!

 

strawberry pie cut

Messy but totally nummy good!

Baked Alaska Pie: Amazing

Everyone loves ice cream.  In my family, everyone loves a pie. So I was looking for something different when I saw a recipe somewhere, can’t remember where but it fit my search requirements plus it was gorgeous but somehow I lost the recipe so I did my best to replicate it for my family. We had it over the Easter weekend. It was a big hit.  Remember baked Alaska? A dessert of the 70’s? It is a fancy construction of a layer of yellow cake topped with a mound of ice cream and then covered with a thick layer of meringue which is briefly baked in the oven to brown the meringue lightly. Well, introducing the Baked Alaska Pie!  Gingersnap crust, coffee ice cream and the traditional meringue topping. Not as heavy because the pie crust is ¼ the thickness of the layer of cake in a standard baked Alaska and gingersnap is a pow of a flavor compared to the blandness of yellow cake. The coffee ice cream pairs with it exceptionally well but I am betting chocolate ice cream would be crazy good too! I suppose you could do a graham cracker crust but what would be the fun in that? The meringue is not overly sweet and is fluffy perfection with the ice cream and cookie crust.

This dessert is remarkably easy to do but you must have patience as there are several steps and a lot of chilling in the freezer.  If you are not needing to be gf you can use a regular gingersnap crust.

 

Baked Alaska Pie

Ingredients

7/8 of a box of gluten free gingersnaps

1/3 cup melted butter

Most of a carton of coffee ice cream

5 egg whites

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Use your food processor, blender or a baggie and a rolling pin to reduce the cookies to a fine crumble. Pour them in a mixing bowl, add the butter, stir well and pour into a 9 inch pie tin. Press across the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 350 for 6-9 minutes; take out before it browns much. Let cool completely before next step.

Let the ice cream warm a few minutes so it isn’t rock hard and is easily scooped.  Fill the pie crust with the ice cream; spread it to cover evenly and mound it slightly.  Put in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

Make the meringue: put the room temp egg whites in a mixing bowl, add the salt and the cream of tartar. Beat until it is in soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time while it beats to the stiff peak stage. It should be glossy and hold a stiff peak of curled meringue. Get the pie out of the freezer and quickly mound the meringue over the pie making absolute sure you cover every bit of ice cream with lots of meringue which will act as insulation.  Chill for 2-4 hours in freezer. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slide the frozen pie in for 4-8 minutes until lightly browned, if possible return to freezer for 30-60 minutes. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife and dig in. Enjoy

alaska pie 2

Not a very pretty picture; just doesn’t convey the incredible flavor. I took this of a leftover slice out of my freezer; we were too busy eating it to take pictures that day! So it lost some of the browned topping in my freezer. It was very pretty when we first cut the pie.

Peach Melba Perfection

Peach season is nearly done.  I have enjoyed excellent cobbler, spectacular peach crumb pie, tasty peach muffins and lots of sliced peaches on cereal or just whole peaches Au natural: the peach fuzz is full of fiber!  One more good peach recipe for you: one with no cooking.  A recipe for a company dessert with next to no work, that sounds about perfect for my busy life.

peachesraspberry jamturkey hill vanilla

Your success depends on the quality of the three ingredients. Yes, just three so they better be the best you can find!  I like peaches direct from the orchard, the best quality raspberry jam you can afford (homemade jam is the bomb for this recipe!) and excellent vanilla ice cream; I prefer Turkey Hill handmade vanilla.

250px-Peach_Melba

This post is all about none other than Peach Melba, created by that world renown chef Escoffier in honor of an Australian opera singer, Nellie Melba back in the early 1890’s.  If you look it up on line you can find fancy versions in stemmed glassware using a whole peach.  It is old school but truthfully the classics never go out of style. The flavors are just perfect together with next to no effort on your part.

pasta and hot sausage 009

My typical version of peach melba is very rustic; in a desert bowl, no stemmed glasses like above, no six dollar a pint ice cream but delightful.  A friend of mine wanted something special for company dessert, no baking, no gluten and fruit based.  I gave her this recipe and it was a huge hit.  Even a non-cook can put this beauty together in less then 10 minutes.

pink water lily 005

Peach Melba

(quantity per person)

One perfect ripe peach

One-two scoops vanilla ice cream

1 Tbps. raspberry jam, stirred up until it is semi-liquid

Heat a pot of water deep enough to immerse your peaches, bring it to a boil.  Gently drop in the peaches, turn heat down to medium and simmer for 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.  Cool enough to be able to peel.  Peel the fruit, cut in half and remove the pit.

Place the peach halves in a dessert cup.  Top with 1-2 scoops of high quality vanilla ice cream and then drizzle the raspberry jam over the peaches and ice cream.  That’s all there is to Peach Melba.  Takes like 5 minutes to put together.  I sprinkled some fresh raspberries, red and gold ones on my serving. You can guild the lily with slivers of almonds but I prefer it with no further additions.  The peaches and raspberries play off each other perfectly and the vanilla ice cream is the ideal base for them to be showcased with.  Enjoy this naturally gluten free treat before all the good peaches are gone.

Blueberry Nutella Smush – Heavenly Ice Cream Treat

There are times when nothing but ice cream will do.  After a long tiring day and not much in my tummy I ate an omelet for supper.  It was pretty good but I had seen this article on ice cream blends in a food magazine at the library and was craving to try one. There were more than a dozen mixtures pictured, all based on vanilla ice cream and fruit and at least one or two other ingredients like a sauce and cookies/nuts. nutella

There was one combination I was sure I had all the ingredients, ice cream, bananas, nutella sauce and cornflakes.  Seemingly simple with clean, clear flavors.  Upon some reflection I decided to replace the banana with some fresh blueberries I had purchased at a farm stand. Bananas seemed too bland and I adore blueberries with ice cream. Continue reading

Blueberry Smush Delish!

There are times when nothing but ice cream will do.  After a long tiring day and not much in my tummy I ate an omelet for supper.  It was pretty tasty but I had seen this article on ice cream blends in a food magazine at the library and was craving to try one. There were more than a dozen mixtures pictured, all based on vanilla ice cream and fruit and at least one or two other ingredients like a sauce and cookies/nuts.

There was one combination I was sure I had all the ingredients, ice cream, bananas, nutella sauce and cornflakes.  Seemingly simple with clean, clear flavors.  Upon some reflection I decided to replace the banana with some fresh blueberries I had purchased at a farm stand. Bananas seemed too bland and I adore blueberries with ice cream.

I put two small scoops nutella of ice cream in a cereal bowl, about a quarter cup of blueberries, a spoonful of nutella sauce and I dumped the cornflakes over it all.  Maybe ¼ cup of them.  I didn’t measure any of it.  I let the dish stand 2 or 3 minutes to allow the ice cream to soften.  Then using a spoon I blended the goop partially together before diving my spoon deep into it to try and get some of all four ingredients.

OMG, it was freaking crazy tasty.  The nutella sauce which is toasted ground up hazelnuts and chocolate/cocoa was wicked good against the other flavors. The corn flakes gave a nice crunch and the blueberries were bursts of fruity yumminess.  blueberry smush

I would say that this dessert is more than the sum of its parts. I was skeptical about cornflakes in ice cream but they worked well and didn’t get soggy.  The nutella was the star of the dish as far as my taste buds were concerned.  I could barely stop long enough to take this photograph as I suddenly knew I had to share this revelation with you my readers!

Now I need to go back and write down some of those other blends.  One had pureed peaches with bourbon and smoked almonds.  Oh, I think I must try that smushed up treat and soon!

 

Pear Split….the New Fruity Ice Creamy Dessert

Who doesn’t love a banana split? I remember when we were first dating Joe and I would often share one for dessert.  I like them not too gunked up with sprinkles and the like but hot fudge is a must on my banana split.  

Sometimes I am not in the mood for bananas and I looked for other fruit to make into an ice cream duet.  One that seems to pair well is the pear! I think a ripe bosc pear is fantastic split in half and made into a modified banana split, sans the banana of course.  Other types of pears would work, just make sure they are at the peak of their flavor and texture.  Image

Here is how I do it.  Take one large ripe pear, cut it in half and then into quarters.  Remove the hard seed area in the fat part of your pear.   You can use a melon baller for this process or a sharp paring knife.  I lay the pear wedges in my chosen dish.  I happen to have a couple of elongated frosted glass dishes with low sides that were made for banana splits. 

Top with 2-3 balls of ice cream.  I like to use vanilla or vanilla fudge but strawberry is also a great choice and if you are a chocoholic, indulge by all means!  Friendly’s makes a fantastic ice cream called “Banana Split” which is three flavors: banana with fudge ripple, chocolate with walnuts folded in and strawberry with flecks of crushed pineapple.  I am guessing it would go rather well in my pear split.

I heat up some hot fudge; there are a number of good jarred hot fudges out there.  Read the label if you are concerned about GF issues.  It would be sad to get sick from such a fantastic dessert.  Put a couple of dollops of it on there.  I also like a delicate stream of Hershey’s chocolate syrup poured over the top.  Image

If you are a lover of nuts; throw on some lightly salted peanuts or what ever floats your boat! Again, check the label for GF safety.

I don’t generally put whipped cream on it anymore, counting my calories but if you must: whip up some heavy cream, add a spoonful of powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla extract (GF of course) and spoon it on top.  I am not a fan of maraschino cherries but put one on if it is important to you! 

Note: if your pear is kinda firm you can poach it in some liquid; cider or wine, even cranberry juice; just until soft.  Cut in half and remove core and slice and use as the recipe suggests.

The quality of your fruit really matters.  Don’t use mushy or hard fruit and if it looks sub par, cut up, cook it and use as a sauce on your ice cream or make it into a cobbler.  I wouldn’t use it in this recipe. Same goes for ice cream.  Don’t use less than the best.  I personally love Turkey Hill, great mouth feel, the sweetness level is where I like it and the flavors are perfect.  Image

I couldn’t take a picture of my first pear split as my camera is missing in action and I didn’t think of using my cell until I had devoured the whole split!  This second split (one day later) is okay, it is missing the wonder of hot fudge…I am all out.  Bummer, although it was still tasty.

The beauty of this dessert is that you can enjoy some ice cream relatively guilt free as you are having fruit too! Plus, if you are not a banana lover this is a great option for a split.  I have even made it with peaches or nectarines in the summertime. Give my pear split a try, why should bananas have all the fun? Image