Tuesday, November 17, 2009
PUMPKIN ICE CREAM TORTE with GINGERSNAP CRUST
8 ounces of crisp gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, chilled
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
About 1 - 1/4 cups caramel ice cream topping
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened (see notes)
About 1 cup hot fudge sauce or chocolate topping
Candied walnuts or pecans
Place about a third of the cookies in a zip-lock plastic bag, seal bag, and roll with a rolling pin, until cookies are finely crushed; pour into a 9 - inch cheesecake pan with removable rim (at least 2 - inch tall). Repeat to crush remaining cookies ( you need 1 - 3/4 cups total) and pour into pan. Add sugar and butter and mix. Press cookies mixture over bottom and about 1 - inch up side of pan.
Bake crust in a 325 F. oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes then chill or freeze until cold, 5 to 10 minutes.
In a chilled large bowl, mix pumpkin, pumpkin spice and 1/4 cup of the caramel topping until smooth. Add ice cream and mix until blended.
Working quickly, spoon about a third of the ice cream mixture into the cold crust. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons caramel topping and 2 tablespoons fudge sauce ( if fudge sauce is too stiff, warm slightly in a microwave oven at full power (100%), stirring once, just until fluid, 15 to 30 seconds); sprinkle half the candied walnuts on top. Repeat with two more layers, omitting nuts on the top layer. Freeze until solid, about 5 hours, then cover and freeze up to 1 week.
About 15 minutes before serving, remove sides from pan, set torte on a serving plate, and let stand in refrigerator to soften slightly. Cut into wedges. Serve with additional caramel topping and fudge sauce (warm and stir again if too stiff) to add to taste.
For the smoothest texture, use a rich, full-fat ice cream.
To soften slightly, heat it in the carton in a microwave oven at half power (50%) for 15 to 30 seconds.
YIELDS: 12 servings
CANDIED WALNUTS or PECANS
6 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cups walnuts or pecan pieces
In a heavy 8 to 10 - inch frying pan, combine sugar and walnuts pieces. Shake and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is melted and amber-colored, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a piece of foil and spread into a thin layer. Let cool until hard, about 7 minutes. Break into small piece.
Use these sweet nuts in the Pumpkin ice cream torte or sprinkle on salads or ice cream.
Candied nuts can be made up to 2 days ahead, cool and store airtight at room temperature.