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Friday, November 23, 2012 - Page updated at 05:00 a.m.

Recipe: Cranberry-gingersnap ice cream pie


The smooth ice cream and sweet-tart cranberry sauce work perfectly with the buttery, crispy crust. Use this recipe to take care of leftover cranberry sauce and ice cream — if there is such a thing as leftover ice cream.

1 ¼ cups crushed gingersnaps (about 25 cookies)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 quart vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt for a lighter pie)

1 ½ cups leftover cranberry sauce, or one 14-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce (*see note below)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon freshly grated tangerine or orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Process the gingersnaps in a food processor or blender until they are the texture of cornmeal. (If using a blender, you might have to do this in batches.)

Transfer to a medium mixing bowl, add the butter and use your fingers to combine thoroughly. Firmly press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, lining the bottom and sides, and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.

Allow the ice cream to soften for 10 to 15 minutes so it will be easier to spread.

While the ice cream is softening, combine the cranberry sauce, sugar, zest and vanilla extract in a medium bowl to make the topping.

Fill the crust with the ice cream, leveling and smoothing the top.

If you like a bicolor effect, spread the topping over the softened ice cream and use a flexible spatula to swirl it a little, so that white streaks from the ice cream are visible. If you prefer a solid red topping, freeze the ice cream-filled crust for about two hours, then cover the entire pie (or just the center, if desired) with the cranberry mixture.

Freeze for at least two hours and up to five hours, until the ice cream is firm.

Remove the pie from the freezer 15 to 30 minutes before serving (depending on how long the pie has been frozen) to soften a bit.

*NOTE: Canned whole-berry cranberry sauce often contains very few cranberries and a lot of dull-purple-colored sauce. To perk it up, add a cup or so of fresh cranberries if you have them on hand, and cook them together with the canned sauce and sugar over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the berries pop. Then add the vanilla extract and citrus zest, cool the mixture and use it to top the pie.

Makes one 9-inch pie (10 to 12 servings)

Nutrition per serving (based on 12): 260 calories, 3 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 26 g sugar

Adapted from a recipe by Terri Pischoff Wuerthner, a cooking instructor and food writer in California.

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