Hiya! I’m actually going to be digital-free until Monday night, so I’ll be back to see you all later. But I had to share this recipe anyway. Yay for setting posts to automatically publish!
This looks like a cheesecake. But it’s not. It’s something very, very special.
Hey, it’s almost summer! This time of year, baking blogs undergo a shift as fruit actually becomes available. Like, good fruit. Not the stuff that looks really pretty and tastes like nothing.
This is a partially no-bake dessert that incorporates fruit notes with strawberry jam, but that hasn’t gone all out yet with fresh fruit. Can you use fresh fruit? Or homemade jam? Sure. But I didn’t. I was more about savoring these last few weeks of spring, when school is still in session and we have a whole summer to look forward to.
Anticipation is, after all, much more fun than whatever you’re looking forward to. Like my birthday. I retain the childish hope every year that my birthday will be the best day ever. Somehow, a normal day will stretch out idyllically, full of amazing meals and fun outings and sunshiny skies. Gotta tell you, that’s not exactly how it goes down. Looking forward to something is usually just better than whatever happens.
Unless we’re talking about food. I anticipate a meal at my favorite restaurant, and almost always, it’s just as amazing as I thought it would be. And I have to say, a trip to Baskin Robbins rarely disappoints. So there are some certainties in this cold, cruel world.
I’d like to say that when school lets out in a few weeks, I will be embarking on a fantastic summer. But I’m afraid to have expectations that are too high. I’ll be working on a book over the next few months, getting in some pool time, walking the DC streets in the peak of the summer heat, and ferrying my children to and from camp. I’m expecting ice cream. I’m expecting some nice days. I hope that’s not out of reach!
This dessert is definitely in reach, which is kind of unfortunate if you’re trying to avoid awesomeness. I’m not, so it’s all good. The base is a graham cracker crust that I’ve tricked out with chocolate chips and cocoa. On top is a magical filling, made up of pudding mix, condensed milk, and Cool Whip. It’s pretty great. The whole thing gets rounded out with strawberry jelly and a generous sprinkling of mini chocolate chips.
If you’re into cool desserts, especially ones that nobody’s ever tried before, this is it. It’s creamy, it’s easy, and most importantly, it tastes delicious. And it’s the perfect transition toward summer, as we all anticipate what comes next.
We all need something to look forward to, but if you can, make the present count as much as the mythical future. It’s all part of your life! A life that includes fantastic pie.
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
1/2 cup water
3.4 oz. box vanilla pudding mix
4 oz. Cool Whip
3/4 cup strawberry jam
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, melt the butter and mini chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Add the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, and brown sugar, stirring until the crumbs are sandy.
- Press the crumb mixture into the pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Make the filling. In a bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and water, stirring until smooth. Add the pudding mix and beat for a minute or two.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for five minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the fridge and fold in the Cool Whip. Pour the mixture into the springform pan (on top of the baked crust) and chill for one hour until set.
- Spread the strawberry jam evenly over the chilled pie in a thin layer. Sprinkle on the mini chocolate chips.
- Keep the pie in the refrigerator, chilled, until you're ready to serve. Slice into wedges.