I’m right in the middle of creating a menu for an Italian Dinner party that I’m donating to my son’s marching band silent auction. I’ve already decided to make minestrone soup and braciola (more about that later), but I wanted something special for dessert. I’ve made chocolate mousse for this dinner before, but that’s not really Italian, is it? Then I came across this outstanding recipe! It is from the 2010 Cook’s Illustrated Italian Favorites magazine. The only change I will make for the action dinner is to add more marmalade and more cinnamon.
This dessert is really great. Good enough for a fancy dinner but easy enough for the family. And I like that you must make it ahead of time.
Here’s what you need:
4 C good vanilla ice cream
1 C whole milk ricotta cheese (low fat will get crystallized when frozen… you want a creamy end result… throw calories to the wind this time, I think)
½ C orange marmalade (I think 2/3 C would be better…..)
¼ C mini chocolate chips
¼ C shelled pistachios, rough chopped
1/8 t vanilla
1/8 t cinnamon (I think ¼ t would be better……)
3 almond biscotti cookies (I had to go to Starbucks to buy mine…. Spent too much time scouring the various grocery stores in my town with no luck…. Do yourself a favor and just go directly to Starbucks)
2 T butter, melted
Here’s what you do:
Melt butter and break biscotti into large chunks. Whirl butter and cookies together in a food processor. Toast in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes, stirring once. When they are done, remove them from the baking sheet and allow them to cool – you don’t want the warm crumbs to melt the ice cream.
Shell and chop pistachios (I almost forgot to add them today – how sad would that have been?)
Scoop out the ice cream into a big bowl and allow it to soften a bit. Use a wooden spoon to work it around. Add the cheese, marmalade, chocolate chips, pistachios, vanilla, and cinnamon. Continue to mix until well incorporated.
Pour into a 9x5 loaf pan which has been lined with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap extends about 6 inches on each end, so it can fold over the ice cream.
Cover the ice cream with the toasted cookie crumbs, wrap securely with plastic, and refreeze for at least 6 hours.
Before serving allow the dessert to sit for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto serving plate. Peel away the plastic carefully. Beautiful and very easy!