It's winter. And when you're into (somewhat) seasonal baking and fresh ingredients are your game, this time of year can be a challenge. However, the cold season can also provide a great excuse for using "non-perishable" items for pie fillings such as... nutella. Nutella is already a cheater's ingredient, as it is the auspicious pairing of two delicious things--hazelnut and chocolate--that I daresay are greater than the sum of their parts. The Italian delight is versatile enough to be spread on your morning toast or late-night crepe, stuffed inside a doughnut, or poured in a pie crust.
We had an "It's a Wonderful Life" screening/holiday party at our house, featuring the movie projected on a sheet, blankets on the floor--picnic style, and a treats table already loaded with overflowing popcorn bowls, incredible chocolate-peppermint ice cream "sammiches," and the savory dark horse of homemade macaroni and cheese. I had seen some nutella pie recipes bandying about the internet, so I thought it would be a good addition to the #occupypottersville smorgasboard. Here's the recipe I used, adapted from Hill Country Cook.
Nutella Icebox Pie
2 sleeves Oreos (or chocolate sandwich cookie substitute)
3 Tblsp. butter, melted
2 Tblsp. sugar (could probably do without since Oreos are already quite sweet)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. powdered sugar, plus 2 Tblsp.
3/4 c. nutella
2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pulse cookies in a food processor until they form a fairly fine powder. Mix in melted butter and sugar until well incorporated.
2. Pat filling into a 9 or 10-in. pie plate, reserving a few crumbs for topping. Bake crust for 7 minutes, let cool, then put in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
1. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and 2/3 c. powdered sugar using a hand mixer, about one minute. Add 3/4 cup nutella and beat until fluffy, about three minutes (continue even once it's combined so filling gets fluffy).
2. In a separate bowl, beat 1c. of the heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until stiff peaks have formed- approximately 3-4 minutes. Starting with 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Once it's combined, add the remaining whipped cream to the chocolate mixture, folding gently until thoroughly mixed.
3. Pour the mixture into the cookie crust. Freeze approximately 4 hours or until firm (I think mine only froze for 1-2 hrs). Twenty minutes before serving, remove pie from freezer and let sit at room temperature. Beat remaining 1 c. of heavy whipping cream with 1 tsp. vanilla and extra powdered sugar, maple syrup, or bourbon to taste. Top pie with whipped cream mixture and sprinkle on cookie crumbs. Enjoy!
I have been making pretty intense pies as of late (see dark chocolate sea salt tart with candied pecans) and this one was no exception, with the triple threat of cream cheese, whipped cream, and nutella. The intense flavor and smooth filling did pair well with the swimmin' Charleston, a charmingly off-key rendition of Buffalo Gals, and parallelled the sweet revenge when George Bailey sticks it to mean ol' Potter. Bedford Falls, welcome to the Pie Enjoyment Zone.