Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie



We came home from our trip to the orchards and vineyards in western Colorado happy, hot and exhausted.  I found myself wishing there was something cold and creamy in the freezer, so the next day I decided to make ice cream that didn't require any baking or cooking of custard over the hot stove.

With blueberries and cream cheese in the fridge, a blueberry cheesecake ice cream started to develop in my mind, but when I found a half-empty box of graham crackers, the thought of a cheesecake ice cream pie took over...

Ice cream that tastes like cheesecake, in the form of a pie, with a salty graham cracker crust, and juicy blueberry topping?  Yes, please!




I suppose I was lying when I said this was a totally no-bake dessert, because you do, of course, have to bake the crust.  But I think 10 minutes of oven time is manageable.  Unless you're feeling lazy and you buy one of those pre-made crusts.

Besides the crumbly crust, the homemade blueberry topping is what takes this ice cream beyond just a tasty ice cream to a dessert that is utterly amazing.

With a salty buttery crust, cold tangy ice cream, crisp blueberries, sweet blueberry sauce... what more could you want in a summer dessert?









Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie
printable recipe


crust:
  • 1 1/2 sleeves graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
ice cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries
sauce:
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a deep-dish pie pan with non-stick spray.

In a bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar and salt.  Drizzle with the melted butter and toss with a fork to combine.  Press crumbs evenly inside the pie pan.

Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on the counter for 10 minutes, then place in the freezer to chill while you make the ice cream.


Make the ice cream:
Pour the cream into a bowl.  Whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  Chill for 1 hour.

Churn mixture in your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions.  Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon ice cream into the chilled crust and smooth out the top.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours, or overnight.

Cook's Note: This can be made without an ice cream maker, but the mixture will develop ice crystals, rather than being smooth and creamy.  To avoid this, the step of churning in an ice cream maker is needed, but if the ice crystals don't bother you, then you can skip that step.


Make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, water, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat.  Once the berries start to burst and the mixture bubbles, stir constantly until thickened like pie filling.  Stir in the vanilla.  If you over-thicken it, just thin it out with a little more water.

Transfer to a container and refrigerate until well chilled.


Serving Tips:
  1. Take the pie out of the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Run a sharp knife under hot water to make cutting the pie easier.
  3. Serve the chilled blueberry sauce on the side to spoon over each slice.

Yields 8-10 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen