Get ready to embark on a delightful culinary journey with the Bramble Berry Icebox Pie! This no-bake dessert is a celebration of summer’s bounty, combining the lusciousness of mixed berries with a creamy, dreamy filling, all encased in a crunchy, flavorful crust.
Ideal for those hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven, it’s also a perfect make-ahead treat for any occasion.
Follow along as we unravel the process of creating this vibrant, refreshing, and indulgently delicious dessert that’s sure to become a summer favorite. Enjoy the burst of berry goodness in every bite!
Choosing the Perfect Berries
Our first task is selecting the berries, the stars of our show. This recipe calls for one cup of your favorite berries. Whether you prefer blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or boysenberries, the choice is yours. The unique charm of this pie is its adaptability to any set of berries.
Sweetening the Berries
Once you’ve chosen your berries, add them to a bowl along with one tablespoon of granulated sugar. This amount can be adjusted according to the natural sweetness of your berries. If your berries taste a bit flat, feel free to sprinkle a tad more sugar.
Enhancing with Lemon
Next, we introduce the lemon, an ingredient that lifts the overall flavor profile. Both the zest and juice of a lemon are utilized in this recipe. Zest your lemon first, then juice it. The zesty tang of lemon, combined with the sweet and tart berries, provides a refreshing burst of flavor.
Preparing the Berry Mixture
With all the components in the bowl, it’s time to mash them up. This creates a kind of ‘berry soup’, which blends beautifully with the lemon juice and sugar. Following this, add in another half cup of berries, stirring gently to coat them in the mixture.
Crafting the Perfect Crust
While our berry mixture rests, we turn our attention to crafting the crust. This recipe calls for 20 Biscoff or speculoos cookies, known for their spicy brown sugar taste. These are pulsed into fine crumbs and combined with brown sugar, sliced almonds, melted unsalted butter, and a dash of salt.
Assembling the Pie
The crumbly mixture is then pressed into a pie tin, creating a beautiful, even layer. This crust, once frozen, provides a crunchy counterpoint to the creamy filling.
Creating the Filling
The filling begins with a combination of whole milk ricotta and cream cheese, mixed until creamy and uniform. To this, powdered sugar is added for a touch of sweetness.
To lighten the texture of the filling, whipped cream is folded in, followed by the addition of our zesty berry mixture. This beautiful blend is then poured over the frozen crust, ready to be chilled.
Freezing and Topping
After smoothing out the filling, the pie is popped into the freezer for about three hours. This allows it to firm up and the flavors to meld together. Following the freezing stage, a generous layer of whipped cream is spooned over the pie, and a sprinkling of fresh berries and a drizzle of berry juice provide the finishing touch.
The Final Product
The resulting Bramble Berry Icebox Pie is a dreamy, ice cream-like dessert, its cloud of berries and cream encased in a crunchy, flavorful shell. Each bite is a symphony of taste and texture, making it the perfect treat for a summer day.
Serving the Bramble Berry Icebox Pie
After all the components come together, the pie needs to be frozen until solid, making it sliceable and easy to serve. A key feature of this dessert is its ability to stay in the freezer for an extended period, enhancing its practicality as a make-ahead treat for any occasion.
When you’re ready to serve, take the pie out of the freezer and let it thaw slightly. This allows the flavors to come through more vividly, ensuring that each bite is a burst of berry goodness.
The assembly of the Bramble Berry Icebox Pie is completed by a final garnish just before serving. Starting with a fluffy layer of whipped cream, the pie is then adorned with a sprinkle of fresh berries for an extra burst of flavor and a vibrant pop of color. The pièce de résistance is the drizzle of reserved berry juice, infusing the whipped cream with a hint of berry goodness and tying together all the flavors of the pie.
Tips and Variations
- Berry Variations: Feel free to use any berries of your choice. You could experiment with a mix of blueberries, boysenberries, strawberries, etc.
- Crust Variations: If you don’t have Biscoff or Speculoos cookies, you could substitute with graham crackers or ginger snaps.
- Sweetness Adjustment: The amount of sugar can be adjusted according to your taste. If the berries are already quite sweet, you may want to reduce the sugar a little.
- Vegan Alternative: You could make this a vegan dessert by using vegan cream cheese, a plant-based milk like almond milk or coconut milk instead of ricotta, and coconut cream instead of heavy cream.
- Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free cookies for the crust to make this recipe suitable for those with gluten intolerance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can I prepare this pie ahead of time?
A1: Yes, this is an excellent make-ahead dessert. You can prepare it and freeze it days ahead, just add the toppings right before serving.
Q2: Can I use frozen berries instead of fresh ones?
A2: Yes, you can use frozen berries. Just make sure to thaw them completely and drain off any excess liquid before using them in the recipe.
Q3: How long can I store this pie in the freezer?
A3: This pie can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Make sure to cover it tightly to prevent freezer burn.
Q4: Can I use a different type of cookie for the crust?
A4: Yes, you can use any cookie that crumbles well. Graham crackers or ginger snaps are great alternatives.
Q5: Is there a non-dairy alternative for the ricotta and cream cheese?
A5: Yes, you can use non-dairy alternatives like almond milk ricotta and vegan cream cheese.
Required Kitchen Tools or Equipment
- Medium-sized bowl
- Microplane (for zesting)
- Blender/Food Processor
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Pie tin
- Flat bottom glass or measuring cup (for pressing the crust)
- Mixer with a whisk attachment (for whipping cream and mixing the filling)
- Spatula (for folding)
- Sieve (for straining the berries)
- Serving plate
This Bramble Berry Icebox Pie is a light, refreshing and delicious no-bake treat perfect for hot summer days. Combining juicy berries with a creamy filling and crunchy speculoos crust, it’s an easy dessert that will impress anyone and can be made ahead of time. Let’s get started!
1 1/2 cups mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, etc.)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (more if your berries are less sweet)
1 lemon (zest and juice)
20 Biscoff or speculoos cookies (157 grams; can be substituted with graham crackers or ginger snaps)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup (60 grams) sliced almonds
6 tablespoons (85 grams) melted unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (248 grams) whole milk ricotta
1 8-ounce package (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (for the filling)
3/4 cup heavy cream (for the topping)
1/4 cup powdered sugar (for the topping)
Additional berries for topping
- In a medium-sized bowl, add 1 cup of mixed berries, granulated sugar, and the juice of one lemon. Mash the berries until they are well mixed with the lemon juice and sugar.
- Zest the lemon and set it aside for later.
- Add the remaining 1/2 cup of berries to the bowl and stir gently to coat. Set this aside while you make the crust.
- For the crust, pulse the cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs are formed.
- Add the brown sugar, sliced almonds, melted butter, and salt to the food processor and pulse again until the mixture is combined but still has some chunky almond pieces.
- Press this mixture into a pie tin and freeze for 15 minutes.
- For the filling, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat until creamy and uniform.
- Add powdered sugar to the mixture and beat until combined and smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the ricotta and cream cheese mixture.
- Strain the berries, reserving the juice. Fold the strained berries into the cream mixture.
- Pour the filling into the frozen crust and smooth the top. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, whip together the remaining heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
- Top the pie with the whipped cream, additional berries, and drizzle with the reserved berry juice.
- Slice the pie into 8 equal pieces.
- Serve immediately and enjoy the refreshing taste of this delicious Bramble Berry Icebox Pie!
You can use any type of berries you prefer or have on hand.
The pie can be stored in the freezer for up to a week. Let it thaw for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
For the crust, you can substitute the speculoos cookies with other cookies such as graham crackers or ginger snaps. The weight should be approximately the same.
The whipped cream topping is optional but highly recommended. You can also add a sprig of mint for decoration or a bit of lemon zest for extra flavor.
Remember to save some berry juice for the end, as it adds a wonderful burst of flavor when drizzled over the top.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 8 servings
- Calories: 400
- Sugar: 20g
- Sodium: 250mg
- Fat: 30g
- Saturated Fat: 15g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 7g
- Cholesterol: 70mg