Cheat’s Cream-Pies

I really struggle to eat fruit when the weather’s cold and miserable.  When stomping through the door after getting drenched by the rain or frozen in the snow, I don’t think anybody was ever heard to groan and desperately utter the words, “God, I’m gasping for an orange.”  This time of year (…pfft, who am I kidding?  All times of the year…) I’m all about warm custard, hot fudge and melted chocolate – preferably all in the same bowl.  Great for me, not so great for the love-chub round my middle.  So I have to trick myself into getting my five-a-day by sneaking it in where I can.  This easy recipe for a basic cream pie (a sort of cheesecake-esque creation)  makes a great base for any fruit topping.  And, once you’ve mastered the basic recipe you can play around with it 🙂

Lemon and Passionfruit Pies -

For the base you’re going to need a handful of digestive biscuits (enough to cover the base of whatever high-sided flan or tartlet tin you’re going to use).  Smash them into crumbs and then stir in a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon or so of melted butter (again, the amount you’ll need will vary depending on the size of tin you’re using.  You’ll need just enough to bind the crumbs and press them down into the base of the tin, but too much and you’ll end up with a sticky mess!).

Press your crumb mix down into the tin(s) until it creates a flat, compacted base, then put it into the fridge to chill while you move on to make the filling. 🙂
For the cream filling, you’re going to need one can of sweetened condensed milk and 175ml of fresh double cream.  Whisk them together until the mix begins to thicken.  At this point you can play around with the flavours a little; add the juice and zest of two lemons to make a lemon pie, add lime to make Key Lime pie, add chocolate if you want, a shot of Malibu if you’re feeling boozy… you get the idea.
Pour the filling over the base and then leave in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.  If for whatever reason the filling doesn’t set (give it a gentle shake – if it’s set then it shouldn’t wobble!), plonk it in the freezer for another couple of hours and you’ll have more of an ice-cream pie – even better!
I finished this one off with some frosty redcurrants, but there’s literally no limit as to adapting the basic recipe and making it your own go-to 🙂

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