Dining In

How Sweet It Is!

By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist   

Summertime, and the cooking should be easy.

That’s the case with “Decadent Triple-Layer Mud Pie.”        

Thanks to some convenience foods, this triple-layer chocolate pie is easy, good and big. It’s a perfect recipe for an occasion where you need to make dessert ahead and you need a large pie. This one will easily serve eight to 10. It’s a nice bridge club dessert if anyone still has dessert bridge parties.

This isn’t a pie you take to the park for a picnic. It needs to be refrigerated. After a long spell of goody deprivation, I was ready for something that would squelch my nagging need for chocolate. This recipe should provide a long-lasting chocolate “fix.”

Two cheesecake pie recipes, likewise, are “summertime easy.” “Cheesecake Pie” has been a favorite during strawberry season for years. The recipe originally called for raspberry topping, but we love fresh strawberries on the top. Any kind of fruit would work.

“Chocolate Cheesecake Pie” (pictured) is another version of a pie cheesecake. The unflavored gelatin ingredient makes this one a bit lighter than the previous recipe, which is dense. Also, it uses no eggs. Use the light cream cheese and cholesterol watchers could enjoy this combination.

Decadent Triple-Layer Mud Pie

Ingredients:

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Oreo cookie pie crust*

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3 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

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1⁄4 cup sweetened condensed milk

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1⁄2 cup chopped pecans

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2 cups cold milk

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2 pkgs. (4 servings each) instant chocolate pudding

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8-oz. tub whipped topping, thawed

Directions: Combine chocolate and condensed milk until well blended. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with pecans. Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Spoon 11⁄2 cups pudding over pecans in crust. Add 1⁄2 of the whipped topping to remaining pudding. Stir with wire whisk until well blended. Spread over pudding in crust. Top with remaining whipped topping. If desired, grate some chocolate over the top. Refrigerate for three hours. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

*Oreo Cookie  Pie Crust

Grind 16 oreo cookies in food grinder or use rolling pin to make crumbs of cookies. (Place cookies in plastic bag and roll with rolling pin.) Melt one-half stick butter or margarine. Combine with cookie crumbs, press into pie plate. Bake at 325˚ for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

Ingredients:

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Graham cracker pie crust*

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1 envelope unflavored gelatin

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1⁄2 cup sugar

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1 cup boiling water

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2 pkgs. cream cheese, softened (low-fat is fine)

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4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Directions: Mix gelatin and sugar. Add boiling water. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy. Add melted chocolate. Beat until well blended. Gradually add gelatin mixture, beating until well blended. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until thickened. Stir occasionally. Pour into crust. Refrigerate at least three hours or until firm. Garnish as desired with strawberries, shaved chocolate or a dollop of whipped cream or whipped topping. Serves 6 to 8.

*Use graham cracker crust provided in recipe below.

Cheesecake Pie

Ingredients:

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Graham cracker pie crust*

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8-oz. pkg. cream cheese

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1⁄2 cup sugar

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1 T lemon juice

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1⁄2 t vanilla

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2 eggs

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Fruit topping, if desired**

Directions: Beat cream cheese until creamy. Gradually blend in sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Add eggs, beating one at a time after each. Pour filling into crumb crust. Bake in 325˚ oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Serves 6.

*Graham Cracker Crust

Combine 11⁄2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 pkg. of crackers) with 1⁄4 cup melted margarine or butter. Press into pie plate. Bake at 325˚ for 10 minutes.

**Fruit Topping

Thaw and crush 1 pkg. frozen strawberries, raspberries or peaches in saucepan over low heat. When thawed, add 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1⁄4 cup sugar. Combine well and cook until thickened. For strawberries, halve and place on cheesecake pie. Cover strawberries with strawberry topping. Likewise with peaches. For raspberries, spread over top of pie and cover with sauce.

 

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