Despite the promise of June’s Summer Solstice, we seem to be firmly entrenched in drab and dreary wintry weather (or at least we were when I started writing this), so I decided to create our own Summer Sunshiny-ness.
And it looks like it’s paid off, because no sooner did I pop this baby in the freezer, than the sun broke free of its cloudy shackles. Here comes a taste of summer!
Normally I would tackle this project with the incredible bounty available from my lovely Meyer lemon tree. All winter long this little orchard-unto-itself cranks out an amazing volume of dense little packets of sunshine… all that sweet/tart lemony goodness that brings to mind relaxing on your swing porch in the late hours of a long summer day, the scent of night-blooming jasmine in the air, a glass of homemade lemonade on ice… cool and refreshing.
But sadly my lemons have worn out their welcome. After a few too many lemon bars, lemon scones, lemon cheesecakes, and yes, pitchers of lemonade, I’ve been told, “NO MORE LEMONS!”
Ok. I hear you.
So today we’ll kickstart our summer enthusiasm with organic strawberries (just now coming in at the farmers markets), and a little frozen-treat-magic. Not only will this dessert leave you with a rosy glow of contentment as though you’d just spent an afternoon at the beach with the sun warming your skin and the sand massaging your toes, but it’s literally as easy as pie!
Strawberry “Ice Cream” Pie
Adapted, significantly, from Sunset Magazine
First I should tell you that this treat is actually made with frozen yogurt, but “ice cream pie” sounds so much more delicious than “frozen yogurt pie,” that I’ve taken the liberty of fibbing a bit with my title. I know you won’t mind.
Second, my adaptations revolve around the crust and the toppings. The original recipe calls for a buttery pie pastry crust baked into a tart pan, but the first time I made this recipe, my tart pan was unavailable (left at a friend’s house after the last lemon tart!) so I decided to change up the crust a bit.
I’ve always loved the combination of ginger snaps with strawberry ice cream, and I’ve always loved graham cracker crusts, so voila! I decided to create a gingersnap cookie crust. I’m sure I’m not the first to concoct this creation, but at the time it seemed like a real stroke of genius.
Gingersnap Cookie Crust
10 oz crunchy/crisp gingersnaps
5 Tbsp melted butter (unsalted)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Crumble cookies into food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Drizzle in melted butter and continue to process until crumbs start to come together. Press crumb mixture into bottom and sides of pie pan and bake in oven until crust is set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Strawberry “Ice Cream” Filling
3 cups vanilla frozen yogurt, softened
3/4 cup best quality strawberry preserves (whole berries if possible)
Stir frozen yogurt until smooth, then stir in preserves. When mixed well, spoon into cooled pie crust and place in freezer. It’s just that easy. Freeze at least 5 hours.
The only other piece of the pie is the topping, which I also simplified from the original recipe. Sunset’s version called for a Balsamic syrup, which actually sounds quite fabulous, but I felt it wouldn’t go with my ginger crust, so I scrapped it in favor of plain ol’ strawberries…
Fresh Strawberry Topping
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1 tsp sugar
Slice strawberries, sprinkle with sugar, stir gently, and cover. Let stand at room temperature.
When ready to serve, slice pie with a knife warmed in hot water, then wiped dry. Spoon fresh strawberries & syrup over each piece. Enjoy your slice of Summer!
PS – This is the second assignment from my June blogging e-course… “ Write a guest post for one of your favorite blogs .” I chose SmittenKitchen.com