Create a scrumptious dessert that pleases family and guests without adding to your dinnertime workload with one of our make-ahead dessert recipes. Our delicious make-ahead cakes, pies, and tarts will help you finish most of the preparation well before dessert time.
1 - recipe Chocolate Crumb Crust
1 - cup sugar
1 - 5 ounce can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
2 - tablespoons butter
2 - ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 - teaspoon vanilla
2 - pints eggnog ice cream
2 - tablespoons dark rum (optional)
3/4 - cup sugar
1/2 - cup boiling water
1/4 - cup meringue powder*
1/3 - cup toffee bits, crushed (1 1/2 ounces)
Prepare Chocolate Crumb Crust. For fudge sauce, in a small saucepan combine the 1 cup granulated sugar, the evaporated milk, butter, and chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly; reduce heat. Boil gently for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reduced to 11/2 cups, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Transfer to a medium bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until almost smooth. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool completely.
In a chilled bowl stir 1 pint of the eggnog ice cream until softened. If desired, stir in 1 tablespoon of the rum. Spread over cooled Chocolate Crumb Crust. Spoon half of the chocolate sauce in small spoonfuls over ice cream layer. Freeze about 2 hours or until nearly firm. Repeat with the remaining eggnog ice cream, rum (if desired), and the remaining fudge sauce. Return to freezer while preparing meringue.
For meringue, in a medium mixing bowl stir together the 3/4 cup sugar and the boiling water until sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Add the meringue powder. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined; beat on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Using a wooden spoon, fold 3 tablespoons of the crushed toffee bits into the meringue. Spread meringue over pie, sealing to edge. Freeze about 6 hours or until firm.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes or just until meringue is light brown. Cover loosely with foil. Freeze for 6 to 24 hours before serving. Before serving, sprinkle with the remaining crushed toffee bits. Serve immediately.
From the Test Kitchen
Meringue powder is a mixture of pasteurized dried egg whites, sugar, and edible gums. Look for it in the baking aisle of your supermarket or at a specialty food store.
Chocolate Crumb Crust
Nonstick cooking spray
cup finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 30 cookies)
cup powdered sugar
tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl combine vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until crust is firm. Cool in pan on a wire rack.