Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mexican coffee ice cream pie

Mexican coffee ice cream pie

Here’s a question for you: Do you eat ice cream pie with a spoon or a fork? And while we’re on the subject—do you place your slice of ice cream pie on a plate or do you place it in a bowl? While I suppose there is no right or wrong answer, it has been something for me to ponder as I’ve made my way through a pan of Mexican coffee ice cream pie.

Ice cream pies became popular in Texas in the 1950s. At this time, home freezers were arriving on the market and demonstration agents would travel around the state showcasing their company’s appliances abilities to keep things cold and solid. It was quite a luxury to not only make ice cream but then to also spoon it into a pie crust and freeze it again for later to serve as a pie.

Mexican coffee ice cream pie

The most common flavor for ice cream pies during this time was strawberry. It was the choice of the demonstration agents and also one that the local dairies usually sold, too. When I spoke to my grandmother about the subject, she concurred that not only was it a popular dessert at the time but indeed, strawberry was the flavor of choice. Though as much as I like strawberry ice cream my favorite ice cream is coffee. So when I got an itch to share an ice cream pie with you, I decided I would it be coffee, or rather, Mexican coffee, flavored instead.

Mexican coffee, which is also known as café de olla, is coffee that’s been brewed with that rich, dark sugar known as piloncillo, and then spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. Sometimes orange zest is added to the coffee, as well. It’s a fine cup of coffee and the bittersweet coffee combined with the dark sugar and warm cinnamon is especially suited for cooler days.

To make my Mexican coffee ice cream pie, I took my basic ice-box pie filling of cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk, and then infused it with brewed dark roast coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest. That said, I have to admit originally I was aiming only for a chilled, not frozen, coffee-flavored pie. But after I realized it wasn’t going to set properly in the refrigerator, I threw it in the freezer overnight and was delighted to discover that the simple combination of a few ingredients created an ice cream filling that didn’t require churning or a specific maker.

Mexican coffee ice cream pie

As for the crust, I opted to go with a chocolate graham cracker crust. While chocolate isn’t a traditional addition, I love the combination of chocolate and coffee together so it worked just fine for me. And then to finish, I topped it with cinnamon vanilla whipped cream and some chopped chocolate because a little more chocolate never hurt anyone.

Now, this pie might not be for everyone. That said, if you’re the sort of person who likes to conclude a meal with a cup of coffee and perhaps a piece of chocolate, this is the pie for you. Or if you’re the type of person who likes to begin their day with a cup of coffee, this is also the pie for you. And if you’re the type of person who loves coffee ice cream and always wondered how it would taste in a pie, then this is definitely the pie for you. Though you don't have to take my word for it. Last week when I was in Texas, I made this pie for my mom's birthday. She said it was the best thing ever. (And then she asked for the recipe.)

Mexican coffee ice cream pie

Making the pie takes little effort though you do need to freeze it for about 8 hours before you can enjoy it. This means, that if you’re like me, you’ll make it the night before so you can have a slice in the morning, as everyone knows that coffee is a fine way to being a day and if you can get your morning coffee in the form of a slice of pie, all the better! The only thing you need to decide is whether to use a spoon or a fork (or a plate or a bowl). But no matter how you serve it, this Mexican coffee pie will put a smile on your face, which isn’t a bad way to end (or begin) your day at all.

Mexican coffee ice cream pie

Ingredients for the chocolate graham-cracker crust:
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 9 large rectangles)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons butter, melted, still warm

Ingredients for the Mexican coffee ice cream filling:
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup brewed strong coffee, such as espresso or a dark roast
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for the whipped cream topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
1 ounce dark chocolate, finely chopped


To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan. In a food processor or with a rolling pin, finely crush the graham crackers until they’re the texture of sand.

Mix well the graham crackers with the cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Stir in the warm, melted butter until a dark dough is formed. It might be a little crumbly, but that's okay. Pat the dough into the pie pan, using your hands, a measuring cup, or a spoon to get it even. Bake for 7 minutes and then let the crust cool for 30 minutes.

To make the filling, in a blender mix together the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, coffee, orange zest, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Pour into the cooled crust, and then place in the freezer covered for at least 8 hours to freeze the filling. (I cover my pie with another pie pan.)

After the filling has frozen, make the whipped cream. First place the mixing bowl and the beater in the freezer for at least 20 minutes so they can chill. To whip the cream, place in the chilled mixing bowl the cream, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon and then whip with the chilled beater until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over whip the cream. Spread the whipped cream over the frozen filling then sprinkle on top the chopped chocolate.

If you’re hungry, you can serve the pie immediately, but if you don’t mind waiting another hour, place the pie back in the freezer so the whipped cream can become more firm.

8 servings



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Sarah Fredette said...

This sounds divine!!! We only do chocolate pie crusts in our house -- even for pumpkin or lemon meringue pies! If you're going to eat sugar, why not include chocolate? :D And bonus points for adding coffee!!!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Sarah--Yes, I'm a big fan of chocolate crusts!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

Oh my!! Loving this flavour. Such a fun recipe for a pie!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Katrina--It is indeed lots of fun!

Sara K said...

Oh, that looks wonderful! And just the thing for my boyfriend's birthday... I've never made him the same cake/pie twice, and it's beginning to get a little tricky after 10 years. Hopefully, he won't think to check out your website in the next couple of weeks. His birthday is mid-October, and he is also a (frequently) homesick Texan.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Sara--Love this! And here's hoping your boyfriend doesn't visit until after his birthday.

Jessica Holmes said...

Oh boy! That is one impressive piece of pie! This looks amazing!

goldenpudding said...

wow, I’ve never even tried ice cream pie, but I love coffee ice cream, and we’re heading into summer - will have to add to the list...
Do you think adding some Kahlua would be took much?

THE Tough Cookie said...

Everything about this pie sings to me...the crust, the filling, even the whipped cream that you've flavored, too. I'm doing the two-step over here anticipating the joy this dessert will bring.

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Oh MY! I know I would definitely love this for breakfast! Hey from Houston! :)

Anonymous said...

Bought your book. Love your recipes


Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Jessica--Thank you!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Goldenpudding--A splash or two could be quite good!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Nora--Thank you so much for buying my book and the kind words! Happy cooking!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Gail--I like picturing you doing the two step! My only problem is keeping myself from eating the whole thing!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Bridget--It's terrific for breakfast!

Alanna Taylor-Tobin said...

I wish I were eating this for breakfast instead of oatmeal. :)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Alanna-This pie does make a fine breakfast!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Oh how lovely! I need to try this like right now!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Rocky Mountain Woman--Thanks! And yes, you do!

Jane said...

Oh wow! I could see keeping this pie all to myself and not sharing. I note you added cinnamon to all component of this recipe and I have recently started the habit of adding a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon of instant coffee to all my chocolate baked goods - such a great enhancement.

Jane said...

P.S. A fork for apple pie but a spoon for all others.

Dani k said...

ice-cream is my weakness... oh dear what have I just discovered...

Shelley said...

I like Jane's idea of the sprinkle of cinnamon. I think cinnamon is supposed to be healthy (brain? stomach?) too, isn't it....

SeattleDee said...

I fell in love with cardamom ice cream this month, but fickle me might have to keep company with this pie instead.

Sara K said...

The birthday surprise was a success! Several of our friends requested that I make it for their birthdays as well.

anna @ annamayeveryday said...

I have never had an ice cream pie but I know I want to eat that one.

Barbara said...

Sounds wonderful. I will try it with crushed gingersnap crust for a little more zing. :-)

Anonymous said...

I made it for my brother's birthday instead of a cake. It was DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the great recipe!

Dea-chan said...

A fork for all pie and often for ice cream as well. :-P I hate spoons. I am very picky about the shape and 99% of them suck.

But this looks DELICIOUS. Omg. It's hotter than hell here, and I need this.

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