From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...As a bride, and for a goodly number of years thereafter, I'd spend hours in the kitchen preparing complicated meals for folks who might or might not enjoy them. It took me a while to accept the fact that some people live to eat while others eat to live, and it took me longer still to realize that I could not change the minds or habits of either group. So, while I cringed at first, I eventually begin to serve chili and pot roast to those with simpler tastes and allowed myself an occasional shortcut when I thought it would not be noticed or affect the quality of the food I was preparing. Tonight's dessert is an example of what I call my "rationalized" cooking technique. This recipe originally appeared in Better Homes and Gardens magazine in the more complicated form that appears below. I've simplified it to make it workable in the small cottage kitchen we rent for the summer months. While the almond crust in the original recipe is delicious, it is a bit of a production that is not workable in a small and poorly equipped kitchen. The solution? Substitute a ready made vanilla or graham cracker crust for the more complicated one used in the original recipe. I also freeze each layer before the next is added to assure that clear layers are formed and that the filling elements remain separated. At first glance, the recipe appears complicated. That is not the case, and while this is not a difficult dessert to prepare, it does require substantial amounts of time in the freezer. It can't be considered a last minute preparation. I even return the pie to the freezer once the final topping is in place to assure clean slices when the pie is cut. I find that the top layer bleeds if it is not frozen. As with most ice cream desserts, this one should be moved from the freezer to the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve it. I must tell you, that even in its simplified form this dessert is a crowd pleaser. Those of you who try either version of the pie will be happy with the results and the compliments you garner when it is served. Here is how this warm weather treat is made.
Blueberry Ice Cream Pie...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Better Homes and Gardens
1-1/2 cups slivered almonds
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cups blueberries, rinsed, and well drained
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon water
Assemble and Serve
1.5 quarts homemade or purchased vanilla ice cream
3/4 cup of the Blueberry Sauce, chilled
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, and well dried on paper towel-lined baking sheets
Remaining blueberry sauce, heated
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl of food processor fitted with a steel blade combine almonds, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to bowl and stir in melted butter. Turn into 9-inch pie plate. With fingers press onto bottom and sides to form a firm, even layer.
2) Bake 8 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to completely cool on a rack. Transfer to freezer until ready to use (may be made up to a week in advance and frozen, tightly wrapped).
3) In large, wide, nonreactive skillet combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, stirring well with a spoon to distribute the sugar and cornstarch. Add zest, lemon juice, water, and a few gratings of fresh nutmeg; stir again to blend.
4) Cook and stir over medium heat until blueberries begin to pop, give off juice, and come to a full simmer. Simmer, stirring gently for 1 additional minute until sauce is lightly thickened and cornstarch is well cooked.
5) Set aside to cool; refrigerate sauce until completely chilled before proceeding.
6) Transfer ice cream to a mixing bowl and let stand in the refrigerator 30 minutes or until just softened.
7) Spoon half of ice cream into prepared crust. Spread in even layer and top with half of chilled blueberry sauce. Spoon on remaining ice cream and spread to edges.
8) Cover surface of ice cream with plastic wrap and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight until firmly set.
9) To serve: Whisk creme fraiche, heavy cream, and sugar in a chilled mixing bowl until just thickened to spreading consistency. Do not overbeat. Spread cream mixture over pie; top with blueberries. Serve with heated sauce on the side. Makes 10 servings.
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