Icebox treats are a sweet way to chill in summer

The cooling power of homemade ice pops, aka Popsicles, make for a playful food section this week.

Easier than homemade ice cream, ice pops (see the July 18 e-edition) are a versatile bunch. But if you’re not inclined to lick your dessert from a dripping stick, consider other sweet treats that can be whipped up in minutes in the blender or food processer, then left to chill. The genre of icebox cakes and pies compel cooks’ efforts on these sweltering summer days.

Here’s an icebox pie bursting with a tangy flavor that isn’t weighed down by eggs or cream. The smooth mouthfeel comes from low- and no-fat Neufchatel cheese and Greek yogurt . You’ll have to heat up the oven briefly to bake the graham cracker crust. Or skip that step and pour the gelatin-enhanced filling into ice-pop molds.

photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

Icebox Key Lime Pie

8 whole low-fat graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 ounces neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cheese, softened and divided

1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon grated lime zest, plus 3/4 cup juice (from 6 limes), divided

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 F. In bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham cracker pieces and sugar to fine crumbs. Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese to crumbs; pulse to incorporate.

Sprinkle mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and press crumbs into an even, compact layer on bottom and sides of pie plate.

Bake crust in preheated oven until it begins to brown, for 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer pie plate to a wire rack and let it cool completely, for about 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and 3 tablespoons of the lime juice; let sit until gelatin softens, for about 5 minutes. Microwave for about 30 seconds, until gelatin dissolves.

In clean food processor bowl, blend remaining cream cheese, the condensed milk and yogurt until smooth, for about 1 minute. Add gelatin mixture, remaining 9 tablespoons lime juice, the lime zest and vanilla extract; process until thoroughly combined, for about 1 minute.

Scrape mixture into cooled pie shell and smooth over. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, for at least 3 hours.

Makes 8 servings.

— Recipe from “Light & Healthy 2012” by America’s Test Kitchen

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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