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Dairy-Free Italian Ice Cream Pie

This recipe for dairy-free Italian ice cream pie is a modern variation of an old Italian recipe for tortoni, a creamy semi-frozen dessert. A mix of cherries, chocolate, and rum gives this rich nondairy pie a festive appearance and fine flavor.

Preparation time: 25 minutes (including time for the ice cream to soften)

Freezing time: 1 hour

Yield: One 9-inch pie (8 servings)

1/2 gallon vanilla nondairy ice cream

1/4 cup light rum

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (reserve 1/4 cup of the cherry juice)

6 ounces carob chips (find them at natural foods stores) or dairy-free chocolate chips

9-inch ready-made, dairy-free chocolate crumb crust

  1. Leave the nondairy ice cream out at room temperature until slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the nondairy ice cream, rum, vanilla, cherries, cherry juice, and carob chips. Stir with a large spoon until the ingredients are well blended and the mixture is smooth. (A stand mixer with paddle attachment is quicker and easier than mixing by hand. Chill the bowl first before mixing to keep the ice cream nice and frosty.)

  3. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Cover with foil and place in the freezer until hardened, about 1 hour. Slice and serve.

In place of maraschino cherries, you can substitute 1/4 cup fresh or canned pitted cherries (any kind) and 1/4 cup of their juice. (If using fresh cherries, add an extra 1/4 cup of nondairy ice cream in place of the juice.)

Per serving: Calories 606 (from Fat 272); Fat 30g (Saturated 9g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 513mg; Carbohydrate 74g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 5g.

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