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Ice cream is delightful in any form – but in the form of a pie, with a cookie crust, it’s worth its own day to celebrate. It’s time for National Ice Cream Pie Day!

History of National Ice Cream Pie Day

Historians agree that variations of ice cream, or at least frozen treats, have been around for centuries. Some have traced it back to origins in China. Earlier versions were likely more like shaved ice with honey or fruit flavors. Later versions evolved into something like sherbet, and then eventually milk was added to create a version similar to what is known today as ice cream.

But the ice cream pie has a much more recent history. It seems that ice cream pie was probably developed in the United States, perhaps by Italian immigrants, at some time in the mid-20th century. This timing would go along with the introduction of the freezer into restaurants and homes.

The idea for making ice cream pie is simple and delicious. Just use a basic graham cracker or cookie crust. Then pile ice cream and topping flavors into it and freeze. Serve and enjoy.

National Ice Cream Pie Day was created to honor and celebrate this delectable and tasty treat!

National Ice Cream Pie Day Timeline

1885

Pie à la Mode is Invented 

A man names John Gieriet at a restaurant in Duluth, Minnesota lays claim to the creation of Pie à la Mode.[1]

1940s

Freezers first appear 

Changing the way that modern people cook and eat, freezers make it possible to make ice cream pies at home![2]

1950

Edwards Baking Company is founded

Starting as a small retail bake shop, Edwards will eventually create frozen pies that are available in grocery stores and through Schwan’s in the US.[3]

1963

Lutrell Sims begins working at the Savannah Room 

Sims helps create the “perfect” strawberry ice cream pie at the University of Georgia, which will draw people from nearby states just for the ice cream pie.[4]

How to Celebrate National Ice Cream Pie Day

The perfect time to enjoy and appreciate ice cream in all of its glory – and particularly when it comes in the shape of a pie! Consider some of these ways to get involved in celebrating National Ice Cream Pie Day:

Enjoy a Tasty Ice Cream Pie

Head over to a favorite restaurant that serves ice cream pie and order a slice in honor of the day. And since it’s National Ice Cream Pie Day, perhaps just go ahead and order dessert first!

Hopefully the desserts menu will have many options on offer. Try a basic vanilla ice cream pie with fudge sauce and a chocolate cookie crust. Or perhaps some peanut butter, or fruit flavors will be available. Bring a friend, order one of each flavor and have a taste test to see which is best!

Try Making Ice Cream Pie at Home

A super simple dessert, ice cream pie just requires a bit of planning ahead so that it can freeze completely before serving. Ice cream pie can be made out of basically any flavor of ice cream that the chef desires. Before getting started, however, it is important to get the ice cream out of the freezer to let it soften for some time so that it becomes scoopable when it is time to spread it into the pie.

Crusts made from cookie crumbs or graham crackers offer ice cream pies a particularly delicious foundation. Simply mix the cookie or graham cracker crumbs together with butter and press carefully into the bottom of a pre-greased pie pan. Refrigerate (or even freeze) the crust.

Other ingredients might include toppings, such as fudge sauce, caramel sauce or butterscotch sauce; nuts like pecans or slivered almonds; sprinkles in chocolate or rainbow colors; or sweet treats such as pieces of candy canes or toffee bars.

Spread the soft ice cream onto the pie crust, without pulling the crust back up with the knife. Start with a layer of ice cream, add a layer of preferred flavor toppings, and then top it off with another layer of ice cream. Add more toppings, if preferred, then place in the freezer. Once the pie is firm again, slice it and serve with whipped cream.

Get Creative with Ice Cream Pie

The options are almost endless for making ice cream pie in different flavors and combinations. Of course, a vanilla ice cream pie will certainly be tasty, but perhaps it’s time to get a bit more innovative in the kitchen!

Try out some of these ideas for flavor combinations in honor of National Ice Cream Pie Day:

  • S’mores Ice Cream Pie. Complete with torch toasted marshmallows on top, this version of the classic Girl Scouts campfire dessert is perfect with a graham cracker crust. 
  • Freezer Caramel Drizzle Pie. Tasting like a mix between ice cream cake and cheesecake, this frozen dessert is made with vanilla ice cream, has yummy caramel sauce, and is topped with a crunchy topping made from coconut and crushed pecans. 
  • Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Pie. Start with an Oreo cookie crust and then pile on the mint chocolate chip ice cream with fudge sauce in the middle. Channels the flavor of delightful grasshopper cookies! 
  • Rhubarb Gingersnap Ice Cream Pie. This unique combination will be a culinary surprise. Making the crust from gingersnap cookies offers a little flavor kick that blends perfectly with the rhubarb and ice cream. 

Share an Ice Cream Pie with Others

National Ice Cream Pie Day isn’t for keeping to yourself! It’s a day that is best enjoyed when shared with others. So it’s time to get creative about ways to share. Take an ice cream pie to work for an afternoon pick-me-up in the break room. Invite the neighbors over for a slice of ice cream pie after a long day of working in the garden. Or call a friend, grab two forks and get to eating a delicious ice cream pie.

Get Boozy with Ice Cream Pie

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating like an adult and adding some alcohol to ice cream pie in celebration of National Ice Cream Pie Day! Try out some of these delectable recipes:

  • Frozen Margarita Ice Cream Pie. This one is made in a graham cracker crust with vanilla ice cream, frozen limeade concentrate, tequila and orange liqueur. 
  • Kahlúa Ice Cream Pie. With an Oreo cookie crust, coffee liqueur and ice cream, as well as Kahlúa-infused whipping cream on top, this dessert is a huge winner. 
  • Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pie. Everything that’s beautiful about the traditional Bananas Foster dessert is included in this frozen treat. Caramelized bananas, brown sugar and dark rum pair with graham cracker crust and pecan praline ice cream. 
  • Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream Pie. Cinnamon graham cracker crumbs make a delicious crust for this spicy chocolate and coffee ice cream pie that includes kicky ingredients like roasted glazed pecans, ground red pepper, coffee liqueur and whipping cream.

National Ice Cream Pie Day FAQs

How long does ice cream pie last in the freezer?

Ice cream pie can be kept in the freezer for 2-3 months when stored properly.[1]

How to make ice cream pie with cookie crust? 

Create a crust by mixing cookie crumbs with butter. Fill the crust with ice cream and topping flavors, and freeze.

How many calories are in ice cream pie?

A slice of ice cream pie with a cookie crust, fudge topping and whipped cream contains approximately 600 calories.[2]

Does ice cream go with pie? 

Sure! Pie “a la mode” has been a favorite for more than a century.[3]

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