Monday, February 17, 2014

Strawberry Ice Box Dessert and Strawberry Ice Box Pie

We're all looking forward to warmer weather, spring and summer. I have great memories of summer growing up in Michigan. Some of my favorite memories include activities that involved food. Maybe that's part of why I've chosen to write a Food Blog.
Many of those memories started at my Grandmother's house and my Aunt Faye's farm.
Summer always included fruit in Michigan. I remember having Strawberry Shortcake at every summertime event at my grandmother's house. We had picnics in her backyard on rickety old wooden picnic tables. My fondest memories are of my grandmother's Potato Salad and Strawberry Shortcake.
I recently saw an episode of Trisha Yearwood and she made an interesting Strawberry Shortcake recipe. I had never seen the biscuit made in an 8" cake pan, but I'll make it this summer. My Grandmother's Strawberry Shortcake was always made with small individual home made biscuits, macerated strawberries and home made whipped cream. It was the classic strawberry shortcake.
I began researching variations of the iconic American summer dessert and came across a multitude of recipes for Strawberry Ice Box Cake. The recipe has been around for many years.
I looked at them all, I took something different from all of them and created this recipe. I look forward to spring and summer and making this dessert. I think it will be our Easter dessert.

Strawberry Ice Box Dessert:

1 pound of strawberries, stems trimmed. ( use a plastic straw to remove the stems. Push the stem out with the straw) I do this if I have a lot of strawberries to prepare.
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 (3.4 oz.) box of  Instant  Cheesecake Pudding Mix
2 C whole milk
1 pint of heavy cream
5 TBS of sifted confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C strawberry jam, slightly heated , just to melt and set aside.
24 graham crackers
1 C semi sweet chocolate chips

Thinly slice 3 of the strawberries and set aside.
Slice the remaining strawberries and put them in a bowl.
Sprinkle them with the granulated sugar.
Mix well and set aside until they soak up the sugar and release their juice.
Mash them with a potato masher, leaving some chunky pieces.

Make Pudding with the milk, according to package directions, refrigerate

In a chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment: beat heavy cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla until a stiff texture is achieved. Watch it carefully, it can firm up quickly.
Reserve 2 TBS  and set aside.
Gently fold in the strawberry jam, by hand, into the bowl of whipped cream.
Once the pudding is thickened and set, gently fold in the  strawberry whipped cream, by hand.
 and set aside.

Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream  in a  9"X13" glass pan.
Cover the bottom with a single layer of graham crackers.
Cover the crackers with some whipped cream.
Top with a layer of the strawberries.
Repeat with whipped cream, crackers, whipped cream and strawberries.
Continue layering, ending with whipped cream.
Garnish the top with the 3 reserved sliced strawberries.

In a microwavable glass bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, melt the chocolate chips until smooth and cool slightly.
Mix in the reserved 2 TBS of strawberry whipped cream, until  completely incorporated.
Drizzle the chocolate over the entire cake with a fork.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Strawberry Ice Box Pie:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - Well Buttered 10" Pie Pan

2 C Crushed Pretzels
12 TBS Butter, melted
1/4 C Brown Sugar
2 C Sliced Strawberries
1 - 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
4 TBS + 1 tsp  (1/2 of a 3oz. Box) Strawberry Jello
2 C Heavy Cream, divided
1/3 C Granulated Sugar

In a medium mixing bowl:
Brown Sugar
Mix well by hand.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of the Pie Pan.
Bake 10 - 12 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool 30 minutes.

In a Stand Mixer with a Whisk attachment:
Condensed Milk
Cream Cheese
Beat on low until just combined.
Transfer to a bowl.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer:
3/4 C Heavy Cream
Beat to Soft Peak.
Gently fold this into the Strawberry mixture by hand.
Pour into the crust.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 12 hours.

Beat remaining 1 1/4 C Heavy Cream until Soft Peak .
Beat to Stiff Peak.
Spread evenly over the Pie. (you can get fancy if you want to)
Freeze for an additional hour before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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