An ice cream tart with a potato chip, pretzel, and cracker crust inspired by Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, part two (tart two!) of a two-pie special!
You can read about my old gods pie, a beet and pork pasty, over here.
When my sister was in high school she used to make these outrageous baked goods, lining glassware baking pans with store bought cookie dough, plopping a layer of Oreos on top, and then covering it in brownie batter. Her junk food Frankenstein monsters were a huge hit at pep rallies and bake sales, but there was always an element of fear and awe, the quiet knowledge that these things were probably killing you softly. For the second half of my American Gods pie I followed her lead and created something I’ve been casually referring to as “Trash Tart” for the past few weeks.
As mentioned in my previous post, the book follows a recently-released convict, Shadow, as he gets wrapped up in a supernatural war between the gods of myth and legend and the new gods taking hold in America. These new gods include the likes of Media, a picture perfect housewife character with a little bit of a dirty side and a fat, pimply internet kid with a few glitches. While the old gods can be proud and wrathful (if you want to characterize fallibility through deadly sins), these new ones fall more towards the likes of gluttony and greed.
Notes From The Piebrary:
Perhaps it’s because Shadow gets roped onto the old gods’ side, but I always feel like it’s more difficult to sympathize with the new gods, although there’s ultimately no real difference between any of them. Perhaps it’s their naive supremacy and their patronizing smugness, things all the old gods are guilty of too, but somehow the amount of shit they’ve had to put up with over thousands of years makes it okay. The new gods strike me as cheap and dirty, they come faster and harder and shorter-lived than the old gods. There is a point where we see the god of the railroads, already obsolete, and I can’t help but think that it must be tough to be People magazine equivalent of a belief system. You’re only the top until the next new thing comes along, and while I think this is also true for the old gods, the rate of succession was so much slower that it gave them time to settle into myth and legend rather than just fizzling out.
Parsing This Pie:
Junk food, fast food, the quick and greasy killers, the easy fix for dinner, that wholesome all-American meal that comes with apple slices and a toy. That shit your teenagers are shoveling in their mouths while popping Nazis in Call of Duty, leaving electric orange finger prints on your couch cushions. How’m I doin’ here? Do you feel nauseous yet?
Here’s something gross: you can buy all the ingredients for this tart at a truck stop (or if you’re like me your corner bodega) and you can make it with just a microwave and a freezer. I wanted to play on the idea of convenience, that fifties housewife throw-it-in-a-jello-mold mentality so you can show up to your next backyard barbecue or holiday potluck with this bad boy and have people ooh and aah over something that you essentially vomited into a tart pan. It’s salty, it’s sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s smooth; it’s got all those scientifically-proven texture qualities and flavor cues that get you addicted to this MSG-laden shit.
That said, be real, how badly do you still wanna taste this bitch?
-1/3 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
-1/3 cup potato chip crumbs (I used Pringles)
-1/3 cup pretzel crumbs
-3/4 cup milk chocolate (I used chips)
-2 tbs butter
-1 pint vanilla ice cream
-2-3 tbs peanut butter
-1 tbs butter
-Pretzels for garnish
This couldn’t be more simple. Loosely crush up the Ritz, potato chips, and pretzels, melt the butter and chocolate together, and mix everything together until everything is coated. (I coated everything in a bit of butter before adding the chocolate and pre-toasted for 10 min at 350 degrees the way you would a graham cracker crust, but I don’t really think it’s necessary.) Press it gently into the bottom of the tart pan and freeze. Once everything has hardened up, take your pint of ice cream out of the freezer to soften. When it’s good and mushy, push it around on top of the crust. Like you’re icing a giant cookie. Put it back in the freezer. Once it’s good and set you can melt some peanut butter (with the aid of another tablespoon of butter) for drizzle, because no junk food creation is complete without peanut butter, and add pretzels for garnish.
Enjoy in the laughing-just-a-bit-too-loud company of others or in the dark, with your glassy eyes lit only by the blue glow of the television.