Cool pies refreshing on hot days

Published 1:06 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2005

By Staff
With the temperatures remaining into the "Hot as all Get-Out" ranges, everyone is looking for lighter foods that require little or no cooking. If you're not, then you are among the few.
I've been doing whatever it takes to keep the stove and oven cooking to a minimum. I've even reduced myself to cooking pasta, rice and scrambled eggs in the microwave. No, I'm not crazy – I'm hot.
If you're looking for a great dessert recipe that requires very little work and no heat, then this week's selection of recipes is just what you've been waiting on!
I stumbled across some recipes that I acquired some time (some of them even years) ago. I thought that since most of them were prepared using those store-bought, ready-to-fill graham cracker crusts, this would be just the ticket. The uses of those crusts are almost limitless. If you can make pudding, you can make a cool pie. Check out some of the following recipes and you'll see what I mean. Simple instructions and very few ingredients can make for a wonderfully pleasing dessert.
Cherry Cheese Pie
1 graham cracker crust
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
14 oz. can sweetened, condensed milk
One-third cup bottled lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
21 oz. can cherry pie filling
In a large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Blend well. Pour into crust and chill for about three hours. Top with cherry pie filling just before serving.
That one is pretty close to the conventional cheese cake recipe, except we've cut out the cooking part. It's almost as good as the real thing, but not quite. When you factor in that you didn't have to cook anything and it took less than 15 minutes to make, it may be even better!
For this next recipe, if you can get your hands on one of those chocolate cookie ready-to-fill pie crusts, it would be wonderful for this recipe. If not, the plain variety will do nicely. Using the plain graham cracker crust and using graham crackers in place of the vanilla wafers in this recipe with give it sort of a 'Smores taste. Try it and let me know what you think!
Chocolate Marshmallow Pie
2 c. miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp. milk
2 and one-half cups thawed whipped topping
2 cups cold milk
2 packages (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 ready-to-fill pie crust
14 vanilla wafer cookies (optional)
Microwave marshmallows and 2 tbsp. milk in medium bowl for 45 seconds. Stir well. Marshmallows will be partially melted. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to cool. Stir in 1 cup of whipped topping. In a separate bowl, stir 2 cups milk and pudding mixes beating with a wire whisk for about 2 minutes. Let stand for a minute or until slightly thickened. Stir in remaining cup and a half of whipped topping. Spoon mixture into crust and arrange cookies (if using) over pudding mixture. Spread marshmallow mixture over cookies and refrigerate for about 4 hours or until set. Drizzle with chocolate topping just before serving if desired.
The next recipe uses ice cream as one of the ingredients. If you make this one, make sure it's for at-home use or in this heat, your car may become a sweet, sticky mess.
Super Sundae Pie
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 ready-to-fill graham cracker crust
1 jar strawberry topping
1 jar chocolate syrup
Chopped nuts, if desired
Whipped topping
Maraschino cherries
In a mixing bowl, stir slightly softened ice cream until smooth and spoon into pie crust. Place pie in freezer until frozen hard. To serve, remove the pie from the freezer and let stand for 10 minutes to soften. Spoon strawberry topping onto serving plate. Cut pie and place slice on the topping. Garnish generously with chocolate syrup and other toppings as desired.
Hawaiian Marshmallow Pie
3 cups miniature marshmallows (or 24 large)
2 cans (8 oz. each) crust pineapple, drained, reserving one-half cup liquid
2 cups thawed, whipped topping
1 ready-to-fill pie crust
Microwave marshmallows and reserved pineapple juice on high for 2 minutes, or until smooth when stirred, Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. Mix until well blended and fold in drained pineapple and remaining whipped topping. Pour into crust and refrigerate for several hours or over night. Garnish with pineapple chunks and cherries, if desired.
That should get you through any dessert dilemma you may have this summer. These are so quick you can offer to bring a dessert to any last minute pool party.
I hope that you are enjoying the recipes I select to share with you each week. If there is a particular theme you'd like me to explore for you, I'd certainly be glad to do so. Just let me know what you're planning and some of the ingredients you'd like to use. I'll be happy to find some recipes that will fit your needs. Also, if you have a question about recipes or would like to offer some helpful hints for the kitchen, please send those along as well. You can email me at If you'd like, you can call the office here at the paper and they'll be glad to pass the message along to me. I may not be able to work a miracle for you, but I'll do what I can.
Be sure to check back here next week for more great cooking (or non-cooking) recipes! Until then, Happy Cooking!

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