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Temperatures in Charleston, South Carolina have been pushing right up to the 95 degree mark all last week and are forecast to continue into next. It is only fitting that I’m presenting a whole lot of our sweet sunshine with this pretty, summery, Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Cake. The sweet strawberry flavor combined with tangy lemonade is like summer in each and every bite. Plus, it’s an easy no-bake dessert that comes together in under 30 minutes. So while I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, I am going to strongly suggest you add this ice box cake to your dessert list, hint hint!
South Carolina has had what can only be described as a bumper crop of the SWEETEST strawberries this year. Until this spring, I'd only read about a farm a short drive from my house, Wabi Sabi Farm. They are a U Pick strawberry (and a whole lot more as I have since learned) farm in Cordesville, SC. I had been seeing their produce photos for a year or so on Facebook and decided to check them out in person a few weeks ago. To my absolute delight, they had plenty of baskets of berries already picked and waiting for purchase when I arrived, saving me from having to pick my own on a day when my footware choice was less than appropriate for a wet field!
This recipe today comes from the Joy Cone Company, the folks who supply our summers with delicious edible vessels for our ice cream! For years, I have prepared a version of a strawberry lemonade ice box pie using everything from crushed pretzels to graham crackers as my base. When I read through the Joy method, I decided to combine my Wabi Sabi haul with their cones and create a frozen loaf cake versus a traditional springform pan pie. This recipe has been modified to fit the loaf pan I am using for this recipe, but you can find the original recipe here. All of this is to say, this might just be the frozen springtime treat of your dreams. This dessert reminds me of summers as a kid, when Mom would keep pitchers of lemonade in the refrigerator which she made from frozen lemonade concentrate. It’s that same frozen lemonade concentrate which gives this dessert that strong lemonade flavor rather than simply a lemon flavor. When swirled with the strawberry puree, this icebox treat tastes exactly like a homemade lemonade recipe, but in dessert form!
Ingredients for Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Cake with Sugar Cone Crust
1 cup salted pretzels
1/2 gallon real vanilla bean ice cream
1 small can frozen lemonade concentrate, or 1/2 large can
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and halved, stems removed
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
In a blender, or by hand in a gallon-size plastic bag, crush the Joy Sugar Cones and the pretzels until they become coffee-ground size crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar and combine. Press into a 5" by 9" loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and put in the freezer to set for about 15 minutes.
Using the same blender, add your pint of strawberries. Blend until it’s a smooth puree. Pushing the puree through a mesh sieve, remove the majority of strawberry seeds and set aside.
In a large stainless-steel bowl, mix together the 1/2 gallon of vanilla bean ice cream and the frozen lemonade concentrate. Slowly add the strawberry puree, reserving some to create the swirled topping.
When the ice cream, frozen lemonade concentrate, and puree are combined, remove your pie crust from the freezer and pour in the lemonade/ice cream mixture. When filled to the top, add the strawberry puree and swirl with a toothpick. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and let set for four hours or overnight in the freezer.
To unmold, remove loaf pan from freezer and let sit on the counter at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Unwrap the plastic from on top. Depending on how you plan to serve, you may either lift the cake from the loaf pan by lifting the plastic wrap sides up and out, or you can place a flat plate/platter atop the loaf pan and turn the plate and loaf pan upside down, then loosen/remove the plastic. Decorate with additional sliced strawberries and lemon slices and whipped cream. Use a sharp knife which you have run under HOT water and then dried to slice through the frozen cake. You will find this cake VERY EASY to slice.