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Boy Eats World!
By David Lawrence

Theories abound on the origin of this kitschy psychedelic green dessert. It was a '70s specialty of my aunt Mona and a childhood favorite of mine. According to culinary folklore, Kraft Foods developed a recipe for Pistachio Pineapple Delight in 1976 to launch their newest instant pudding flavor, pistachio. A Chicago Tribune food editor reprinted the recipe, renaming it Watergate Salad to generate reader interest. Other recipe creations cashed in on the scandal of the day, including Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Frosting and my favorite, Watergate Pie.
Serves 8

• 1 cup walnuts
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 large marshmallow
• 1/2 pound cream cheese, room temperature
• 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
• 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

• 2 (3-ounce) packages instant pistachio pudding mix
• 2 1/2 cups milk
• 2 tablespoons slivered unsalted pistachios, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F

To make the crust add the walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to chop finely. Add the butter and flour, process to combine and form a dough. Press into a deep dish pie plate. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 25 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the first filling, use a free-standing or handheld electric mixer to whip the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. In a microwave oven, cook the marshmallow until soft, about 10 seconds Beat the softened marshmallow into the whipped cream, to stabilize.

Using an electric mixer, mix together 1 cup of the whipped cream, the softened cream cheese and the confectioners' sugar Spread the mixture over the bottom of the crust. Mix the remaining whipped cream with the granulated sugar and set aside.

To make the second filling, in a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk until smooth and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the pudding over the cream cheese layer. Top with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with silvered pistachios Refrigerate for several hours and serve chilled.


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