I sat for ages trying to come up with an introduction for this blog post. Nothing really came to mind, and I'm in the middle of a taper, which, as I'm sure my fellow athletes are familiar with, makes me super grumpy and apparantely also even less creative than usual. So, what you need to know is that I've come up with a really great dessert that is delicious and looks fancy and makes self-control extremely challenging.
I came up with the very first version of this Ice Cream Pie as a birthday cake for my plant-based partner in crime, and once we realized how good the recipe was I made many more. I'm usually more of a chocolate girl than a fruit girl, but the combination of Lemon & Blueberry was both delicious and visually striking, so I decided to lead with it.
When it comes to presentation I typically struggle (as I'm sure you've noticed from all the photographs on this blog...) but this Ice Cream Pie might be the prettiest thing I've ever made. And trust me, it's not that hard to get the swirl seen in the photo. However, let's keep that between us because this thing looks like I spent hours working on an intricate design, and I'd like to maintain that illusion.
What You Need:
For the Crust:
5 dates, pitted
1 cup walnuts
1 cup quick oats
Water, as needed
For the Filling
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1 cup coconut milk--seperate the cream from the water
3 tablespoons of honey
Juice + zest of 3 meyer lemons
For the Swirl:
1 package of Blueberries (or about 12 ounces)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
This is a much more time intensive recipe than I usually post, both in terms of the prep, the putting together, and the waiting. However, it's also more of a special occasion recipe (special occasions can include: surviving Monday, remembering to take the trash out, controlling your road rage, not saying what you were thinking at a team meeting at work, etc.)
Step One: Put the package of blueberries into a saucepan with the tablespoon of lemon juice. Bring them to a simmer while stirring continuously. Once they're tender use an immersion blender to create a jam-like consistency, or put the hot mixture in a blender. It should be smooth. Set it to one side to cool.
Step Two: Take your crust ingredients and put them in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture gets crumbly. If you're using a blender you will need some water, but don't add too much as you want this to have a crumbly texture over a paste-like texture. (Alternately you could just make this without a crust).
Step Three: Pour your crust into whatever pan you're using, and press it into the bottom and up the sides. I use a 10" Springform pan. I actually had no idea that that was the name of what I use until just now. I kept googling versions of 'tension release pan' and getting increasingly strange search results. Sorry, NSA!
Step Four: Put all of your filling ingredients in a VitaMix or blender except for the coconut water. I put my can in the fridge to separate the cream from the water--you will want to do the same. Start blending, then slowly add the coconut water until you get the consistency that you want. I would recommend the minimal amount of liquid to get everything blended smoothly as this will ensure a really creamy, thick texture!
Step Five: Slowly pour your filling over the crust in the pan. Make sure it evenly covers the crust. I usually just slowly pour it in and then shake the sides of the pan to get the level even.
Step Six: Time for the trickiest part! Take your cooled blueberry mixture. Make sure it's in a container with a spout of some sort, like a measuring cup. Slowly pour the mixture in a thin spiral pattern over the top of the filling. It's okay if it's a little messy.
Step Seven: Take a knife, and lightly drag it from the center of the filling towards the edge of pie crust. Do this repeatedly about an inch apart until you have your 'swirl' or spiderweb pattern. If you're not worried about a pattern, you can just lightly drag the knife any way that you like to create more of a chaotic pattern.
Step Eight: Time to wait! Put this in the freezer for a minimum of two hours. Keep testing it to see if it's frozen.
Step Nine: Take this out of the fridge about 5-10 minutes before you're ready to eat so it can thaw a little and you can get a knife through it.
So like I said--a bit more prep and a bit more wait time, but this thing is magical. I'll be posting more versions soon, and probably making one to celebrate my upcoming special occasion of running a big race and surviving the taper without offending anyone too irreparably. Theoretically. I've still got five more days to go.