There are a lot of “types” of mom’s. They are all generalizations, to be sure. But there is the society mom, the stage mom, the artist mom. There are numerous categories. I suspect I fall into several, myself (though none of the aforementioned). But then there is one of the most admired types. She is the mom who runs the kitchen where all the boys show up throughout high school and college where there is always home cooked fare and fried chicken and all the fixins and giant casseroles and great desserts. This kind of mom learned early how to man-handle gigantic pot roasts and generally kept at least 4 gallons of milk in her refrigerator at all times.
When I think of this type of mom I think of my aunt Betty, who raised 3 enormous boys…and I’m talking “NFL big” boys. She is a wonder of a woman. When my husband talks about this kind of mom he is often talking about Karen Mertens. You will see some Betty recipes over the years. This is a Karen. I recently posted Poppy Seed Bread by Courtney Mertens. This is from Courtney’s mother in law.
Also the mom of multiple big boys, Karen Mertens fed the boys of Fulton during my husband’s stint at Westminster College…and apparently still feeds the very lucky international students who attend the college. I must say that my husband’s memories of this family also include the many radish sandwiches and pickled herring he was fed by Mr. Kenneth “Kingfish” Mertens, a beloved figure who my husband mentions fondly with frequency. They are just folks who know how to make you feel at home, even when home is far away. This tradition is carried on with great success by Doug and Mitch Mertens and Doug’s sweet wife Courtney, the source of the Poppy Seed Bread.
Recently, Karen emailed me a recipe for a crunchy ice cream topping. Within about 5 seconds I had a complete vision in my head of an ice cream pie, in a graham cracker crust, buried in a pile of the sweet crunchy goodness. I was pulling into the grocery store parking lot within 15 minutes of getting the email. I had a sense of urgency about making this pie exist. And it is divine. Pure bliss. Karen Mertens got this crunchy ice cream topping recipe from her sister. Her last name is Love. Therefore, this pie is, and forever more will be called Love Pie. I think it would be equally good with chocolate ice cream as the filling. I used the graham cracker crust from my Key Lime Pie.
|Love Pie...a crunchy, cold, ice cream treat|| |
- 11 full sized graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- 2½ cups Rice Krispies
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
- 6 cups vanilla ice cream (buy ½ gallon)
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Combine the pecans, Rice Krispies and coconut in a 9” x 11” baking dish. Pour the melted butter over the Rice Krispie mixture and mix. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the baked Rice Krispie mixture and stir to combine. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and pour the mixture out on parchment to cool. Sprinkle the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips over the mixture. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Put the grahams in your food processor with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Process until they are the consistency of sandy crumbs. You can also put them in a Ziploc and crunch them up. Mix in 5 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter. You can add up to two more tablespoons of melted butter if it is not becoming workable. Pour the buttered crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and sides to form a crust. You can use the sides of a measuring cup to push the crumbs against the side of the pie plate. Bake for 13 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the crust is cool, remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow the ice cream to soften somewhat. Mix the softened ice cream with a spoon to even the consistency. Spoon the ice cream into the graham cracker crust and smooth it out with the back side of the spoon or a spatula. You can use more or less ice cream depending on how tall you like your ice cream pie. Pile up the crunchy topping on top of the ice cream. Use as much as you like. I used about half of it. Press it down gently into the top of the ice cream just a little and then add more if you like. Immediately put the pie into the freezer until you are ready to serve. You will want to let it harden at least for an hour or two.
My mind truly spins with all of the possible adaptations of this recipe. I mentioned chocolate above, but I’m fairly sure coffee ice cream would be great too. The topping could easily be modified with other goodies, as well. I’m thinking white chocolate chips, or bits of caramel candy, or toffee bars. Let your inner kid go wild.
Put the remaining crunchy stuff into a glass jar with a lid or a resealable plastic bag. This will keep for a while and is great just spooned on top of ice cream. At the risk of sounding truly gluttonous, this is amazing with a little Hershey’s syrup on top, too.