[NOTE: We enthusiastically testify to the deliciousness of this recipe from guest blogger Kevin Ireton — R&T]
My mother started making ice cream pie 40 years ago. I don’t know what prompted it. We didn’t have the Food Network back then to show us how easy things are. And ice cream pie probably wasn’t covered in her well-worn copy of The Joy of Cooking. But in any case, she started making it and eventually taught me how. It is nearly as easy as opening a carton of ice cream, but you’d think you'd labored over a soufflé from the raves it invariably draws. And I’m convinced that it’s my habit of bringing an ice cream pie that gets me invited to parties.
The problem with most ice cream pies served in restaurants is that the proportions are wrong: too much ice cream, too little crust, and too little topping. When you make your own, this problem is easily avoided. Obviously, you can alter the ingredients to suit your taste, but here’s my mom’s traditional recipe.
Start by making a graham-cracker crust. This is the only real baking involved—if you can call mixing crumbs, sugar, and butter baking. You can buy a premade crust, but it won’t taste as good. Once the crust cools, fill it with Breyers butter-pecan ice cream that’s been sitting out on the counter long enough to soften. I generally get most of a half-gallon carton into the pie crust, leaving only a scoop or two for me to eat directly out of the carton. (I’m certain my mother never did this.)
Next, smooth the ice cream with a knife and cover it with Mrs. Richardson’s Hot Fudge, the whole 16-ounce jar. This is the trickiest part of the operation because the ice cream has to be just firm enough and the fudge just soft enough; otherwise the congealed topping slides off like a bad toupee. To temper the mating parts properly, I often use some combination of sticking the pie crust with ice cream back in the freezer and heating the fudge in a microwave (but not too much).
Once the topping is in place, cover it with pecan halves, resisting the temptation to create a decorative pattern or spell out something. Then put the whole thing back in the freezer, and you’re done. Remember to let the pie sit out for ten minutes or so before serving.
I have tried making the whole thing with a chocolate-cookie-crumb crust and coffee ice cream, which was good, too. But it’s the recipe above that gets me the party invites.