I realize it’s Good Friday, and I should probably be posting some kind of Easter-specific recipe here, but I’m not. Not that you can’t serve this for Easter dinner – it may, in fact, go over very well. But I’m just posting it because – well, I feel like it.
It’s nearing summer, and last weekend, as the temperatures rose here in the Mid-South, I found myself hankering for this crazy old-fashioned dessert my friend Amy used to make, back when we were roommates in Chicago. I think she probably toted a pan of this along to just about every party we ever went to, and the pan nearly always come home emptied of everything but a few scattered crumbs. It’s one of those desserts that doesn’t take a whole lot of effort and seems like something your great-aunt used to make for family reunions, but for all that, it’s amazingly good. Addicting, even. It has that magical sweet-salty-creamy-crunchy thing going on. So I made a pan of it for dessert over the weekend, and we enjoyed bowl after bowl until it was gone – no regrets, no getting tired of it. It’s not the most gorgeous dessert in the world, but it’s right up there with any good ice box cake in the yumminess department.
Look, I’m aware that a lot of you are thinking I’m nuts. I mean – pistachio? Pistachio pudding mix? I know – I know. I totally get it. But you just have to trust me here. This is crackers and butter and ice cream and whipped cream and Heath Bar, too. And unless you loathe pistachio with some kind of deep, abiding, visceral hatred like my brother-in-law Ted, I can almost guarantee you will fall head-over-heels for this dessert. Give it a chance.
Amy’s Old-fashioned Pistachio Dessert
3 cups Keebler Town House or Ritz crackers, crushed (measure after crushing)
2/3 cup melted butter (unsalted)
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
3 cups whipped cream
1/2 cup Heath Bar bits (you can find these near the chocolate chips in your local market)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan, stir together the crushed crackers and melted butter with a fork. Press firmly and evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
When the crust has cooled, stir together the softened ice cream and pudding mix in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly on top of the cooled crust.
Top with a even layer of whipped cream, and sprinkle the Heath Bar bits on top.
Return to the freezer or refrigerator to chill thoroughly.