The summer we started making icebox cakes, we made them throughout the season; it was as if we couldn’t stop, they were so good, and easy and fun.
We ate a ton of strawberries that summer, and perfected the art of beating coconut milk into perfect fluffy whipped cream. We’d alternate between graham crackers and digestive biscuits because we couldn’t decide which we liked best.
It was the summer of the Stanley Cup Riots, and the weekend before we made icebox cake for the very first time and the city was going to the Stanley Cup finals – it felt enormously celebratory.
We continued making icebox cakes with strawberries (mostly) until the season passed.
We haven’t made that many icebox cakes in subsequent years; I’m not sure why, it’s not like we fell out of love with it.
I thought about them when this season’s strawberries starting appearing at the market, it must have been the heatwave but I suddenly wanted to make icebox cakes with fervour again
The icebox pie is similar to the cake, it’s basically the same ingredients just in pie form with the graham crackers crushed to form the crust, which is filled with coconut milk whipped light and airy and then topped with fresh strawberries.
It’s just how I like my desserts, simple, fresh and decadent with a bit of crunch.
We’re back to making icebox cakes and pies again, this time with less urgency – although July is almost over and we’ve only made one, and it feels like we’ve lost a month already.
Strawberry Icebox Pie
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 full-size graham crackers, ground
- 1/3 cup butter (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, optional
- 1 – 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (plus a few whole berries garnishing)
- Open the chilled can of coconut milk and scoop out the fat (the white layer) into a large bowl, leaving out the clear coconut water
- Whip coconut cream with a hand mixer on high until light and fluffy, and soft peaks begin to form
- Add icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue whipping until it’s well incorporate and mixture is light and fluffy again
- Set aside in the fridge
- Combine ground graham crackers, butter, sugar and a tablespoon of coconut milk in bowl, mix until moist and the crumbs stick together, add another tablespoon of coconut milk if it doesn’t stick
- Press mixture firmly onto the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
- Spoon whipped coconut cream into pie crust and spread evenly to cover crust
- Layer sliced strawberries on top and garnish with a few whole strawberries
- Refrigerate for another 30 – 40 minutes to allow pie to set