Keep Cool

Having guests for seudah shelishis or Sunday brunch? We’ve got some delicious cool summer desserts that don’t require much time, effort or even an oven. Icebox cakes are great for Visiting Day crowds and last-minute Shabbos guests since they use few ingredients and can be put together in short order. These cakes can be made a few days in advance and kept frozen until just before serving. They are a great way to make the most of summer flavors.

Mangoes are at their peak flavor now,  and match well with coconut. If you have other favorites, try substituting them in each of our recipes. You can switch the mango sorbet to raspberry for a new twist.  You might like to add dulce de leche to the ice cream in place of the brittle. You can swap the coconut milk for whole milk for those who don’t like coconut. Use your imagination to keep your taste buds singing.

Keeping these cool treats on hand will make you seem like the perfect hostess — never frazzled, generously stocked with tasty goodies and plenty of time to socialize.

Mango Swirl Pie

For the crust: 

  • nonstick  spray
  • 12 empty ice cream sugar cones (about 5 to 6 ounces), coarsely broken
  • 4 Tbs. sugar, divided
  • 6 Tbs. butter (3/4 stick), melted
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, slightly
  • softened
  • 1 cup any type of nut brittle
  • 1 pint mango sorbet, slightly softened
  • 1 cup whipped topping or heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted*

Spray a 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. You can also make this pie in a disposable pan.

Grind cones with 3 tablespoons sugar by pulsing them in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add butter and blend until crumbs stick together. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of prepared pan. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Scoop vanilla ice cream into a large bowl.  Add the brittle and stir to incorporate.  Scoop the mango sorbet into the same bowl as the ice cream. Using spatula, fold and stir ice cream and sorbet briefly to swirl (do not over-mix). Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Freeze pie for at least 2 hours or until the filling is completely hardened.

Beat topping or heavy cream, vanilla, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in medium bowl until peaks form. Spread over ice cream pie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

*To toast coconut, spread it in a large baking sheet and place it in a preheated 350° oven. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until it turns golden.

No-bake cheesecakes are also included in the category of “icebox” cakes. They contain no eggs and do not require baking. The cream cheese is given structure by the addition of unflavored gelatin. This kosher gelatin is made from fish bones and is used as a gelling and thickening agent in many recipes. Adding gelatin to cream cheese will result in cheesecake that has a similar texture to baked cheesecake. 

Coconut Cheesecake With Mango Sauce

For the crust:

  • 11 whole graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract (optional)

For the filling:

  • 1 cup coconut milk, divided
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the mango sauce:

  • Flesh of 3 mangoes
  • 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. rum extract
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350°. Crush graham crackers in the food processor. Combine crushed crackers with the melted butter, coconut flakes and extract.  Press into the bottom of a 9” springform pan, bringing the crumbs 1 inch up the sides.  Bake until crisp — 6 to 7 minutes.   Remove from oven and cool.

Place half a cup of the coconut milk in a small heat-proof bowl or double boiler.  Sprinkle gelatin over it and let it soften for 5 minutes. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Place the bowl or boiler over the simmering water. Heat the coconut milk for 1 minute, whisking constantly to activate the gelatin.

In your mixer bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Add the cream cheese and remaining coconut milk.  Beat until just smooth. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer running, add the gelatin mixture and beat for 2–3 minutes longer. Place the filling into the cooled coconut crust. Wrap well and freeze at least 6 hours or up to a few days.

Purée the mango in your food processor until smooth. Put the purée through a mesh strainer to remove any tough fibers.  Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and extract.  Refrigerate to allow flavors to meld. Sauce may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3–4 days.

Alternately, you can use purchased mango sauce for added convenience.  Spread mango sauce on top of cake. Sprinkle with coconut and serve or refrigerate until needed.