Saturday, July 13, 2013

Purple Pie


It got too hot to bake frivolously, but I wanted pie. I saw a recipe for a refrigerator pie, and the idea of pie that requires no baking sounded good, but the ingredient list turned me off: oreo cookies, toasted sweetened coconut, coconut cream, whipped cream, cream cheese, fruit juice, and raspberries. I thought that sounded like a terrible thing to do to raspberries, so I streamlined the whole flavor/texture thing and came up with this.

for crust:

5 oz gingersnaps, I used Trader Joe's Tripple Ginger
4 T melted butter


8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup blueberry jam
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup water + a couple tablespoons
1/4 oz envelope unflavored gelatin

1 additional cup heavy whipping cream
a pound of blueberries

Crush up the cookies and mix with melted butter.  Press firmly into the bottom of a pie pan and refrigerate until needed.

In a small dish, soften the gelatin in a couple tablespoons of cold water. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir to dissolve. Once the gelatin is completely dissolved and has cooled somewhat, put it together with the cream cheese, jam, condensed milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a blender and blend the heck out of it. Set aside.

Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Gently mix in the jam blend then pour half of it into your pie dish. Add a layer of berries, then the rest of the filling. Refrigerate over night, then garnish with whatever you have lying about.

1. Do bother to soften the gelatin in cold water first. If you just throw it in the boiling water, it tends to clump up in this really annoying way.
2. I bet you could use any flavor of jam/fruit/cookie combo for this. Strawberries with a Nilla Wafer crust. Peaches with a pecan sandy crust. Cherries with crust made of almond biscotti. Orange marmalade with chocolate graham crackers.
3. I used a spring form pan. If you want to do that too, first cover inside of the ring with a layer of foil, then insert the bottom to hold the foil in place. When the pie sets up, remove the ring then peel the foil away from the pie.
4. The white stuff in the picture is about 2 oz cream cheese, with enough cream mixed in to make it act like frosting, and enough lemon juice to make it a little tart and enough powdered sugar to make it a little sweet. Dump it on the pie, push it around to make a circle and heap up any leftover berries in the middle.
5. Next time I think I'll use something else for crust. The gingersnaps taste good, but I think they overwhelm the berries. David disagrees, though, so use your best judgement.

Basically, this is just whipped cream with a little jello in it to keep it from going flat. There is a thing called fool which is almost exactly  like this, except without the cheese and gelatin, so it's very sloppy and you just eat it out of a bowl and there's no crust. Fool is nice, but there isn't much textural interest. A cookie crust definitely adds some thing to the whole business. Also, the concept of an icebox pie seems quintessentially American to me, which makes it an appropriate thing to eat for Independence Day, which is when I made this thing.

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