I was reading my friend Carl’s blog a couple of weeks ago and in one of his posts he wrote about icebox cake, a dessert he ate as a child. I immediately thought of the icebox cake my mother used to make. While the one Carl was talking about is prepared with whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookies, the version I remember contained graham crackers, chocolate and vanilla pudding and could often be found in the refrigerator at my childhood home. My mother often made this simple dessert in the summer months and after whipping one up this afternoon, I can see why. It’s so easy! I didn’t use instant pudding but you can if you’re pressed for time, which would make it even easier to put together. Here’s what you do: line a 13 x 9 dish with graham crackers, breaking them up to fit evenly. Pour a layer of pudding over the crackers—my mom always put vanilla first and then chocolate, so that’s what I did too, but feel free to change up the flavors—followed by another layer of graham crackers and one more layer of pudding. Then crush up some of the remaining crackers and sprinkle over the top. Let chill for at least three hours before serving, though the more chilled the cake is, the better it tastes. The pudding softens the crackers, turning them into a cake-like consistency.
We’ll have this for dessert tonight after a dinner of burgers and barley salad. As I was walking home from Whole Foods today, I thought about some of my other favorite summer desserts from yesteryear. Yogurt pie comes to mind, another delightfully simple refreshing treat. Stay tuned for that recipe later this week!