A dark, heavy chocolate cake has little appeal on a hot, humid August day. Perhaps that’s why my sister, Lisa, who favors chocolate over most things, opts for ice cream pie instead of cake for her summer birthday celebration. Unlike a bowl of ice cream, which can’t hold many candles, the expanse of this pie gives ample opportunity for ceremonious lighting. True to its name, Black-Bottom Pie has a tasty, dark-colored chocolate crust. A satisfyingly thick, fudgy sauce covers the crust before the ice cream is generously added. Mint chocolate chip is Lisa’s preferred flavor, but almost any ice cream will work with this recipe: coffee, strawberry, dulce de leche, or even plain vanilla. Summer birthdays scream for ice cream, but so does any sticky, sweltering day.
Sweet Home by Rebecca Miller Ffrench (Kyle Books; 2012)
|1 1/4 cups finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs||1/4 teaspoon salt|
|2 ounces unsweetened chocolate||1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract|
|6 tablespoons water||1 quart mint chocolate-chip ice cream (or your favorite flavor)|
|1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar||1/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs|
|7 tablespoons unsalted butter|
Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Put the cookie crumbs, melted butter (4 tablespoons), and sugar (2 tablespoons) in a bowl and stir to combine.
Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie plate, being sure to cover the sides of plate too. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the chocolate, water, sugar (1/2 cup), butter (3 tablespoons), and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted. Continue to cook for another 1 minute or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the sauce over the cooled pie crust and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
Once the sauce has firmed in the crust, soften the ice cream slightly so it will be easy to scoop and spread evenly into the pie crust. Fill the crust with the softened ice cream. Sprinkle the top with the cookie crumbs and freeze the pie for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
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