Did you know Ronald Regan designated July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984 (according to Wikipedia)? Seems like a good reason for a celebration doesn’t it? I recently had a cookout with some friends and couldn’t resist making some homemade ice cream. Although I could have stopped at the ice cream, I thought I’d make the ice cream into 4 pies (from top to bottom) – Fudge Mint Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Mexican Chocolate, and Cinnamon Crunch Peaches & Cream. Unfortunately, I don’t have EXACT recipes as I was in a hurry and making them up as I was going along, but I’ll tell you how I made them with some tips for shortcuts! Ice cream pies are easy to make and easy to alter based on your tastes and what you have around the house! See what you have around the house and build a pie around that! I can’t wait to make more with even crazier flavors next time!
Before I tell you about each pie, I should mention that I made a quadruple batch of homemade vanilla ice cream. I kept the liquid base in the fridge then made 4 batches of ice cream using the liquid base and added different ingredients each time to make a new flavor. A lot faster and easier than making 4 different bases! You can certainly use ice cream from the grocery store (and I’ll give you some ideas below). However, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you should probably run out to the closest store and buy one, or two, or three. I love my Cusinart Ice Cream Maker! If you do get an ice cream maker (or already have one) I would suggest getting an extra bowl if it’s not that big so you can have two bowls in the freezer and make two batches at the same time. Otherwise you have to refreeze the bowl and wait until the next day to make a second batch. One batch never seems to be enough, trust me!
For the pie crusts, you can make them for scratch using cookie or cracker crumbs, but I opted for the premade pie crusts in the baking aisle of the grocery store to save some time and concentrate on the ice cream. There are several options of premade crusts including Oreo, graham cracker, shortbread, and vanilla wafer. They would all be great for any of these pies!
First up, Cinnamon Crunch Peaches & Cream Ice Cream Pie. I started with a premade vanilla wafer crust and made a batch of plain vanilla ice cream. When the ice cream was done and still soft I mixed in some finely chopped frozen peaches (about half of a bag of frozen peaches). Then poured the ice cream into the wafer crust. Make sure you chop the peaches up into small pieces because it’s hard to eat a large piece of frozen peach! I Placed the pie in the freezer for a few hours until it was solid. Meanwhile, I defrosted the remaining frozen peaches in the microwave. When they were soft, I put them in a blender with a little sugar and a little orange juice and blended until smooth. Put it in a small saucepan over medium heat and added cornstarch/water to thicken to make a quick sauce. Spooned the sauce over the frozen pie, and topped with some cinnamon crunch mix I had from a previous batch of Fried Ice Cream. Then placed the pie back in the freezer until serving.
You can use vanilla or peach ice cream already prepared from the grocery store and mix in some cut peaches (fresh or frozen). Other types of fruit would also work well such as strawberries, blueberries, etc. but make sure everything is cut into small pieces.
Next up is Fudge Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie. This was my kids’ favorite, although it probably won’t be when they find out what I put in it!! Again I made a batch of vanilla ice cream. When it was done and still soft I mixed in a little mint extract and green food coloring. I didn’t want to put chocolate chips in the pie (because they can get really hard when frozen and hard to eat), so I looked around the kitchen to see what I could come up with. JACKPOT! Found my kids’ chocolate Easter bunnies in the cabinet that had not been touched. Shhhhhhhh…they still have no idea! Part of me thought about just saving the bunnies for NEXT Easter (yes, I know I will not win any Mother of the Year awards), but thought I’d sacrifice the bunnies for the ice cream pie instead. So the bunnies got chopped up into small little pieces and mixed into the soft ice cream. I then poured the ice cream into an Oreo crust and placed in the freezer. When the pie was frozen, I drizzled some Sanders hot fudge on top that I picked up on my “Michigan Food Tour”. You can garnish this pie or any of these pies with a little whipped cream and even a cherry!
You can use prepared mint chip ice cream or if you make your own ice cream you can use any kind of chopped chocolate if you don’t have Easter bunnies around your house. Chopped cookies such as Oreos instead of chopped chocolate would also be great!
My personal fave was the Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream Pie! To the liquid vanilla ice cream base, I added some melted dark chocolate chips and a little dark cocoa powder. I also added a few dashes of cinnamon and ancho chili pepper. The ancho chili pepper gives it a nice smoky flavor but not very spicy. I placed the liquid ice cream base with the chocolate chips in the microwave and heated for a few minutes in 1 min intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth and the chips had melted. Refrigerate the liquid until cool or whisk over an ice bath to cool before placing in your ice cream maker. After I made the ice cream and it was still soft, I added some chopped up dark chocolate and swirled in some homemade cajeta I had in the freezer from my last batch then spooned the ice cream into an Oreo crust and placed in the freezer. When the pie was frozen I drizzled more homemade cajeta and Sanders hot fudge on top and sprinkled the top with more chopped chocolate.
You could use any kind of prepared chocolate ice cream and mix in some cinnamon, ancho chili pepper, and chopped chocolate. Crushed almonds would also be a good addition.
Last but certainly not least is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie. I think this pie was the most popular among my friends. I made another batch of vanilla ice cream and added chunks of chopped up frozen chocolate chip cookie dough. If you are concerned about raw eggs, make the cookie dough without raw eggs. After you make the cookie dough the easiest thing to do is spread it on a lined small baking sheet, place it in the freezer, then chop it up when it’s frozen and mix it into the soft ice cream. If you do make homemade cookie dough, I would suggest mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate instead of regular chips. The regular chips seem quite large and hard when frozen. Spoon the ice cream into a crust (I used a vanilla wafer crust, but Oreo would also be good) and freeze. When the pie was frozen I drizzled some Sanders hot fudge on top and sprinkled some chocolate chips on top.
You could use prepared cookie dough ice cream or use vanilla ice cream and mix in your favorite cookie dough chunks. Chopped baked cookies (rather than cookie dough) or chopped candy would also work great! Add whatever you have around the house!
I hope you enjoyed all my pies! I’m planning to try out a new ice cream flavor or two soon and promise to do a better job with measurements and directions! So get those ice cream makers ready!! Best thing about making homemade ice cream and ice creams pies is you can use whatever you have around and mix it into your ice cream. Cookies, cake, brownies, sprinkles, crackers, candy, pretzels, sauces, jellies/jams, peanut butter, fruit, nuts, etc. all make great mix-ins! Get creative and have some fun! Happy National Ice Cream month!!!
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