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COOKING ON DEADLINE: Recipe for orange-vanilla ice cream pie with orange whipped cream

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Let's get one thing clear — I am not proud of this recipe.

And if it weren't so ridiculously good, I'd be too humiliated to share it. But it is and so I am...

It all came about because I was chasing a childhood taste memory. I wanted the creamy-sweet richness of a Creamsicle, but I wanted it as a beverage. I did — albeit only momentarily — consider melting the real deal, then pouring it over ice, perhaps adulterating it with an adult beverage. But that seemed kind of gross.

After a few misfires, I settled on combining a high-end orange soda with vanilla ice cream in the blender, then pulsing until smooth, but still milk shake-thick. It was simple. It was kind of stupid. It was crazy delicious.

Then I got inspired. What if after the soda and ice cream were blended, the mixture was poured into a pie crust? And what if you then refroze the entire thing? And what if you then topped the resulting ice cream pie with a massive mound of whipped cream spiked with orange zest?

What happens is you get a double orange-cream ice cream pie. And though the recipe is kind of trashy — OK, really trashy — I love it. And you will, too.

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ORANGE-VANILLA ICE CREAM PIE WITH ORANGE WHIPPED CREAM

Start to finish: 20 minutes active (plus several hours freezing)

Servings: 6

1 pint vanilla ice cream

1 1/2 cups orange sherbet

1 cup orange soda

1 prepared graham cracker pie shell

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Zest of 1 orange

In a blender, combine the ice cream, sherbet and orange soda. Blend until smooth, stopping the blender and stirring the mixture as needed to ensure it blends evenly. Pour the mixture into the pie shell, then carefully transfer to the freezer. Freeze for several hours, or until firm.

When ready to serve, in a large bowl combine the cream, extract and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer to whip on high until the cream holds firm peaks. Fold in the orange zest, then mound the whipped cream over the ice cream pie. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, or until thawed just enough to easily slice.

Nutrition information per serving: 520 calories; 320 calories from fat (62 per cent of total calories); 36 g fat (19 g saturated; 3.5 g trans fats); 100 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 27 g sugar; 4 g protein; 190 mg sodium.

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J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at jhirsch@ap.org

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