We have quite often catalogued the various nature-related nuisances of where Gourmandistan is most often located: our sometimes raging and/or icebound creek, roaming bands of garden-gobbling deer, coyotes that creep near to the house and our many, many issues with mice. We have recently been reminded that we also have ants. Our somewhat wet spring saw the return of marching lines of little brown ants, invading the sugars in our pantry, infesting the cats’ kibble bowl and generally making us re-examine our food storage methods. One way of keeping the little Formicidae at bay is airtight containers, of course. But when we found ourselves with an almost-full box of leftover gingersnaps, Michelle thought a pie might be a nice option.
It’s blueberry season, so we always have several boxes on hand for Steve to snack on, and there are also plenty of berries for Michelle to play with. Adding flour to the ice cream base seemed a little odd, but the idea of swirled-in blueberries was intriguing. And there was that leftover box of gingersnaps, waiting to add a bit of spice and crunch.
The result was everything we hoped for (especially Steve, who had done nothing towards the effort but avoid eating all the blueberries). A little sauce of blueberries spiked with candied ginger added extra flavor, and we happily enjoyed the ice cream pie over many days—sneering at the decreasing ant population each time.
BLUEBERRY-GINGER ICE CREAM PIE
(ice cream adapted from Midwest Living Magazine/sauce adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 11 ounces gingersnap cookies
- 5 TB butter, melted
- 1-1/2 c. blueberries
- 1 c. sugar, divided
- 1 tsp. finely chopped orange peel
- 3 TB orange juice
- Pinch of salt
- 2 c. heavy cream, divided
- 1 TB all-purpose flour
- 2 c. milk
- 2 slightly beaten egg yolks
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- 3/4 c. chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
- 2 TB butter
- 2 c. blueberries
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. candied ginger, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 325° F. Crush cookies in a food processor. Put crumbs in a bowl and mix well with melted butter. Pat into a 9″ springform pan, pressing well across bottom and 1″ up sides of pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Once cooled, wrap with aluminum foil and freeze.
Make ice cream:
Place blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, orange peel, orange juice and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, mashing berries with the back of a spoon. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Remove all but 1/2 cup of the mixture and strain into a medium-sized bowl through a fine sieve, pressing with a wooden spoon to extract all juices. Discard solids. Add the reserved blueberries and 1/2 cup of cream to sieved mixture. Cover and chill.
Toss together 3/4 cup sugar and flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk, whisking. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and starting to boil. Cook for 1 minute more. Stir some of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks, then return the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook, stirring until mixture just returns to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a large bowl through a fine sieve and cool slightly. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Beat 1-1/2 cups of cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled custard mixture. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions. When done, fold in the blueberry mixture and the pecans—being careful not to mix in completely.
Place ice cream in prepared crust and level with a spatula. Cover and freeze overnight.
Place sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Pull off heat when berries have released some juices and a sauce is formed, but before berries are totally deflated. Let cool.
Remove sides from springform pan, using a knife to release if necessary. Serve slices of pie with a bit of sauce poured over.
I have a rampant ant invasion right now too! No coyotes in the garden but an expanding of family of geckos. Do geckos eat ants I wonder? I hope so. Not an ice cream fan but anything with ginger turns my head…
Don’t like ice cream? Well, lucky you!
This looks good and blueberry season is just starting.I might need to test this 🙂
One of the nicest of all seasons…
That looks amazing! No wonder the ants want to get in 😉
The freezer is the one place they haven’t been … yet. 🙂
Pesky little critters, it’s hard to convince them they’re not welcome! Delicious dessert, love the flavour combo….
Thanks! When we moved here two decades ago, my grandmother said: “You need to cut down all those trees or the buggers will get you.” I think maybe I should’ve listened to her. 🙂
The marbling is gorgeous. You have a good technique. I overtax and then mine looks like mud.
Sitting at a desk in Virginia, instead of southern Africa, and I’m tempted to make this while I’m here. Today. YUMMO!
Sounds decadent and thus wonderful. Even an army of ants seems to be good for something…!
Ha! Merci, Sabine!
Too divine for words!
Ah we’ve been having ants too! It’s so annoying, I can relate 😛 This pie sounds delicious!
Thanks—and good luck with the little critters.
Oh, my word. This is so unique. And the prettiest ice cream dessert I’ve ever seen.
Thanks, Sacha. I was really pleased by the way it looked. And it tasted quite good too!
Thank you very much!
That looks magnificently mouth watering ( a little bit of alliteration for Sunday morning) . The summer heat is starting to bring bugs to us now….Jenny’s normal Jainist view of all living things starts to change about now:)
I know just how Jenny feels. The ants are annoying, but the mice and the raccoons are about to drive me insane. The latter come in every couple of nights and dig up all the newer plants in the herb garden. They nicely leave the plants right by the holes, but honestly…
Oh my gosh this looks insanely delicious!!!
How beautiful. I love blueberries, but they are very difficult to come by around here, and when you can find them they are usually overpriced and tasteless berries from Spain, or much further away. I like your addition of candied ginger too.
Merci, Darya! It’s so funny. Every year when people in France say that, I have to think: Is Bonne Maman buying up all the myrtilles? I know I see that jam everywhere.
It looks so yummy. In Korea, there is a saying that if ants appear in your house, you become rich. ^^ I don’t know when and where it originated, but my grandmother didn’t kill ants in the house maybe due to such funny superstition.
I love that! Still hoping…
Wow this is the first time I heard of ice cream pie, from now on I will make this regularly. Yum
Oh, ice cream pies are good, Raymund. Much easier than scraping hard ice cream out of a container!
A remedy for annoying ants and a delicious dessert to enjoy for days! A very practical and optimistic solution… Ive learnt to somewhat appreciate ants in my house – the produce is so good they nature wants to eat it. I’ve tried putting out highly processed biscuits before and there were no takers. My biggest nemesis are lizards!
Oh the ants… I’ve learned to just scrape them off the outside of the sugar container. 🙂
And oh! I couldnt comment on your earlier post due to an error on my mobile wordpress app. Congratulations to you and Steve on your new cookbook venture!
Thanks so much, Vasun. I think it did come through finally. Isn’t it awful when technology fails us? Just a few recipes in the book and they’re not mine. But it’s been a (mostly) fun project.
Ants! They are the bane of my existence. Growing up in Kodiak, we never had ants in our house. In Portland, they are as common indoors as dogs and cats. My husband barely bats an eye but they drive me to somewhat obsessive measures of removal. I might forget all about them though if I was sitting in the shade eating a piece of that ice cream pie. I love gingersnap crusts and bet it’s a great combo with the berries. Yum!
I just opened the freezer door. Yes, that’s right, the FREEZER door. And there they were, trying to get in there!!