Cool and classy ice cream pie

Available in more flavors than there are days in the month, ice cream is the coolest treat going on a hot summer day. In a bowl, in a cone, as a shake, as a cake, and as a sundae dripping in rich toppings. There are so many ways to enjoy the frosty treat. Did I mention the ever-popular pie a la mode? There is something about the sweet and salty of it that really appeals.

But if baking is not your thing you can still have your pie and ice cream, too, thanks to the inventive cooks that created the ice cream pie…a no-bake crust filled with ice cream layered with sundae toppings and any combination of crunchy bits like chopped nuts, crushed cereal and candy bars.

The choice of flavor combinations is endless. Use your imagination.

All it takes to make a decadent ice cream pie is a few quarts of purchased ice cream, a home-made or purchased crust and a freezer. Just remember to start your ice cream pie at least a day before needed. As you’ll see, each layer of goodness needs freeze time.

You could look at these steps as a pain, but really what better way to cool off on a hot day than to stick your head in the freezer. Enjoy!

Krispie Crust Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

Crust:

2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal

1/4 cup plus 3 T. light corn syrup, divided

3 T. butter

2 T. brown sugar

Filling:

1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 quart (4 cups) vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

1 snack size bag mini peanut butter cups, roughly chopped (optional)

Directions: In medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup corn syrup, brown sugar and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, till mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the cereal, stirring till well coated. Press evenly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate to form crust.

Stir together peanut butter, fudge sauce and 3 tablespoons corn syrup. Spread half the mixture over crust. Freeze till firm. Reserve remaining peanut butter mixture for garnish.

Meanwhile, allow ice cream to soften slightly. Stir in some of the chopped peanut butter cups, reserving some to garnish finished pie. Spoon into frozen pie crust, spreading evenly. Freeze till firm.

Before serving allow pie to stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before cutting (dip knife in hot water.) Warm remaining peanut butter mixture and drizzle over top. Sprinkle with remaining chopped peanut butter cups. Serves 6 to 8.

Easy Orange Dreamsicle Ice Cream Pie

1 store-bought or home-made 9-inch graham cracker or shortbread crust

1/2-gallon vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

1 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, slightly softened

Directions: Place ice cream and orange juice concentrate in mixing bowl and blend together till combined and smooth.

Pour into crust and freeze till firm, at least 5 hours. Remove from freezer 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh orange slices. Serves 8.

Coconut Crunch Ice Cream Pie

Crunchy Cornflake Crust:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

2 1/2 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup flaked coconut

Filling:

1 qt. vanilla or butter pecan ice cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tsps. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Butterscotch ice cream

topping

Chopped pecans

Directions: For crust, combine brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till butter melts and sugar dissolves. In large bowl combine cornflake crumbs, pecans, coconut and brown sugar mixture. Mix well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Chill in refrigerator 15 minutes, or till set.

For filling, stir ice cream in bowl till softened, using a spoon or an electric mixer at low speed. Spread ice cream into crust and freeze till firm, about 3 hours. Wrap securely in foil and return to freezer and continue freezing 8 hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

To serve, combine heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in chilled bowl. Beat on high speed of mixer till soft peaks form. Spoon butterscotch topping over pie. Top with puffs of whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Serves 6 to 8.

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