Delicious Desserts

This “Chocolate-Strawberry Pie” from Addie Gundry’s “No-Bake Desserts” (St. Martin’s Press) can be prepared in just 15 minutes, all without turning on the oven.

Chocolate-Strawberry Pie

Makes 1 pie

1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and halved
1 store-bought (or homemade) chocolate cookie pie crust
2⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger
1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of kosher or sea salt
6 large egg yolks
2 1⁄2 cups half-and-half
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet
chocolate, chopped
1⁄2 tablespoon rum extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
additional strawberries for garnish (optional)

Place the strawberry halves in a single layer in the bottom of the pie crust.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, ginger, nutmeg, and salt over medium heat.

Whisk in the egg yolks to create a thick paste. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Add the chocolate and whisk until combined. Add the rum and vanilla extracts. Cool the mixture for 4 minutes.

Pour the filling over the strawberries and up to the top of the crust. Chill the pie for 2 hours or until set.

Garnish with additional strawberries, if desired.

Swiss Mountain Ice Cream

Makes about 2 quarts | ice cream maker optional

The following recipe for “Swiss Mountain Ice Cream” from Maxine Clark’s “Chocolate: Deliciously Indulgent Recipes for Chocolate Lovers” (Ryland, Peters & Small) is an impressive way to end a romantic dinner.

White Chocolate Sauce (see below)

2 cups whole milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
14 ounces premium milk chocolate (over 32% cocoa solids), chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
11⁄2 cups whipping or heavy cream, chilled
6 1⁄2 ounces white nougat, roughly chopped
1 freezer-proof tray or container
1 mountain-shaped mold (optional)

Put the milk, condensed milk, sugar, and cocoa in a pan, bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the chocolate and let melt, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely, then add the vanilla essence and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Stir the cream into the mixture, then churn-freeze in an ice cream maker in two batches. This will take 20 to 30 minutes. It will increase in volume as it thickens and freezes. Stop churning when thick and smooth, add the nougat, and churn to mix, then transfer to a chilled freezer-proof tray, cover, and freeze.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, put the mixture in a freezer-proof tray or container and freeze until it is frozen around the edges. Mash well with a fork and return to the freezer. Continue mashing with a fork and freezing the mixture until thick and smooth, about 2 hours. Stir in the nougat. At this stage, you can pack it into a mold and return to the freezer.

If the ice cream is in a mold, remove from the freezer and dip briefly in hot water to melt the outside. Invert onto a chilled plate, lifting off the mold. If the ice cream is in a container, transfer to the refrigerator to soften for 20 minutes before serving in scoops. Drizzle with White Chocolate Sauce and serve.

White Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 2 1⁄2 cups
1 cup light or heavy cream
6 tablespoons milk
8 ounces white chocolate (over 25% cocoa butter), chopped

Put the cream and milk in a small pan and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the white chocolate and stir until completely melted. Serve warm.

If reheating, do so over gentle heat. Do not allow to boil or the sauce can thicken and seize.   

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