A retro ice cream pie gets a makeover

There are few two-ingredient desserts as transcendent as a frozen cake. When the unpretentious combination of whipped cream and crispy ...


There are few two-ingredient desserts as transcendent as a frozen cake.

When the unpretentious combination of whipped cream and crispy wafer cookies are layered and cooled overnight, they are both reborn. The dry, brittle cookies soak up the moisture from the cream, softening into a cake, while the whipped cream stiffens into a snowdrift of fluffy icing barely firm enough to slice. It’s an everyday miracle that always pleases.

Classic recipes call for whipped cream sprinkled with chocolate wafers. But variations abound. Some add fruit and other flavors to the cream; others change the cookies. Then there are those who play with the shape, dipping it all into a crispy cookie crust and calling it ice cream pie.

It starts with a crispy vanilla wafer pie crust that is packed with pink strawberry mousse and other wafers under a mosaic of fresh berries. Then the top is golden with a shimmering homemade strawberry gelatin that is wobbly and elastic next to the puffy down below. It has an interplay of textures like something you would get in a fancy restaurant, but still maintains the retro appeal of a slice of pie at dinner.

Given the inspiration for the recipe, this makes perfect sense. It came from something Nicholas Morgenstern’s grandmother made with whipped topping and a can of red gelatin. Then he and Priyaporn Pichitpongchai, the pastry chef from Morgenstern, gave it a makeover.

“Jell-O and Cool Whip were the mainstays of Grandma Morgenstern’s desserts,” Mr. Morgenstern said. “I still love them.”

This updated version, however, has a fresher, more vibrant flavor that is worth the extra work it takes.

The only tricky part is homemade strawberry gelatin, which requires steeping sliced ​​berries in sugar overnight, then gently heating them to bring out their juice. But this elixir is the soul of the tart, giving it an intense taste and a ruby ​​color.

You’ll need to start at least a day before you want to serve it, but it keeps well for up to three days. Wafer cookies get softer and look more like cakes when seated.

This is also exactly what happened with the original recipe from Grandmother Morgenstern.

“She was not a pastry chef,” said Mr Morgenstern. “But she still served dessert.”

Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream Pie

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