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There’s nothing quite like an Ice Cream Pie on a hot summer day. It’s classic, it’s easy, and will remind you of grandma’s summer ice cream pie. Add your favorite ice cream and toppings, and freeze! Utterly perfect.
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I feel nostalgic whenever I make an Ice Cream Pie. It brings to vivid memory summer days spent roaming the fields and orchards near my grandmother’s house.
We lived in Los Angeles where yes, sunny days were the norm. But when we visited grandma’s house, those sunny days were a bit different.
The days were hotter, brighter, dustier… longer.
For you see, my grandmother lived in a rural area of Washington state. My sister and I would often visit during summers while our parents traveled overseas. Those idyllic days were packed with activity from the morning’s first light to the last rays of the setting sun.
Climbing trees, capturing grasshoppers in mason jars with nail holes poked in the lid, building forts, tents, playing dress up in our mother’s old clothes… and getting dustier and dirtier than we’d ever been. Forever long days with cousins and evenings spent racing around the house and learning funny games we’d never heard of like “alley-Over.” That was summer at grandma’s house.
My grandmother had a clever room at the back of her house. A space that fascinated and drew me to it. A room lined with narrow shelves housing thousands (it seemed) of mason jars packed with a rainbow of brightly colored seasonal goodies. Fruits and veggies, jams, and preserves. It was alluring, even back then.
But what I most loved in that room was the deep freeze. A gigantic ice chest filled with all kinds of treasures. Namely… ice cream. In many shapes and sizes. All kinds of flavors… especially Neapolitan.
At the end of every day, we had a tradition with grandma and that deep freeze. It was all I could do to get through dinner.
But I knew the reward that was waiting.
For when the dinner plate was mostly clean, and the dishes washed and put away, grandma and I would make a trip to that back room. And she would open that cavernous deep freezer, cooling in the air of her pantry.
I loved the ice cream… but I was equally anticipating that frigid blast of arctic air that would fill the room. It felt so good!
Later, we would sit on the back porch with the squeaky screen door, listening for crickets and the tinkling of grandpa’s wind chimes.
Tired from endless summer days, we would relish the coolness of our ice cream Sundays, ice cream pies, banana splits, and even simple bowls of Neopolitan ice cream I would mix together with my spoon until it became more milkshake than ice cream.
Glorious summer days.
And this Ice Cream Pie reminds me of those halcyon days.
Make summer last.
This recipe was inspired by an Ice Cream Sunday with peanut studded chocolate candy and hot fudge sauce. But make it your own by adding a favorite candy, or even fruit.
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- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 18 graham cracker sheets, crushed)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 pints vanilla ice cream
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 cup chocolate candy, roughly chopped (Ideas: Reese's peanut butter cups, Butterfinger, chocolate bars, Snickers, Kit Kat, Oreo cookies....) about 1 King size bar.
- chopped pecans
- whipping cream
- chocolate fudge sauce drizzled over the top
- For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or resealable plastic bag. Stir in the melted butter and press into a pie plate. Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- For the filling: Allow the ice cream to soften a bit. Scoop into a bowl and with a rubber spatula fold in pieces of chopped candy and nuts. Once mixed, pour the ice cream mixture into the crust. Cover with foil and freeze until very hard, about 2 hours.
- To serve: slice the pie and garnish with chopped nuts, whipping cream, and fudge sauce.
I love to make this ice cream pie with fresh berries and fruit as well. Simply replace the candy for chopped berries or fruit, garnish with whipping cream, add nuts if you like.