When I was a kid, I used to make ice cream pie quite a bit. The recipe was very easy and had lots of variations - it had a graham crumb crust filled with ice cream mixed with a can of fruit juice concentrate. If you want to try it, I would highly recommend a vanilla ice cream & lime aid concentrate combo. The vanilla and lime mixture is perfectly sweet-tart and sunny. I also enjoyed making this pie for the opportunity it gave me to eat a few spoonfuls of undiluted limeade concentrate. I had a very sophisticated childhood palate.
This cherry & almond version of ice cream pie is a teeny bit more sophisticated but only the slightest bit more involved to make. I still used graham crumb crust, and store bought ice cream (feel free to make your own vanilla ice cream if you are so inclined), and added some caramelized almonds and some lovely, syrupy cherries. A slightly grown up but still very quick-to-prepare version of my childhood ice cream pie.
The amounts here don't need to be too exact, and the fruit and flavourings can be swapped out to whatever suits you and is on hand. Peaches would be really nice with the crunchy almonds if you prefer.
cherry & almond ice cream pie:
- 2/3 cup flaked almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- large pinch salt
- 3 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen both work
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- about 8 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1 1/3 cup graham crumbs or finely crushed amaretti cookies
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
In a medium frying pan on medium heat, toast the almond until they just begin to colour. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar and pinch of salt, stirring constantly until sugar melts and coats almonds and the nuts are deep brown. Cool nuts on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bring ice cream out of the freezer to soften for about 15 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine cherries, 1/4 cup sugar, almond and vanilla extracts and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook over low heat until cherries soften and syrup thickens, about 10 minutes. Cool in the fridge.
Combine graham crumbs and melted butter and press into a pie plate in an even layer. Scoop ice cream onto the crust and smoosh it down with your fingers. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the nuts onto the ice cream. Spoon cherries and syrup onto the ice cream and top with another 1/3 of the nuts. Scoop on more ice cream until the cherries are more or less covered, it doesn't need to be totally even or covered, it's nice if some cherries peek through. Freeze the pie for at least 5 hours or overnight. Slice and serve sprinkled with the remaining candied nuts.