Prepare yourself before you read this post. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need a napkin, or maybe a bowl, to catch your drool. Have you ever noticed how expensive ice cream cakes and pies are? My family loves them, but I hate spending so much money on them. Plus, unless you’ve got a Ben & Jerry’s shop nearby, they’re usually pretty mediocre. A few years ago, I decided to experiment with making my own, and things haven’t been the same since. Not only is it incredibly cheap, but they are utterly irresistible!
The version I’m sharing with you today is a classic cookies and cream ice cream pie. I chose to make all of the components (except for the ice cream) myself, but you can buy each one ready-made and assemble them yourself. My pie has a crunchy cookie crust, a fudge-y filling, and a generous amount of ice cream and whipped cream. Not to mention all of the toppings I add! This is a somewhat long process, but it isn’t very labor intensive at all. Mostly, it’s just a lot of waiting. Let’s get started, though, so you don’t have to wait as long!
For the hot fudge, you need unsalted butter, heavy cream, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and unsweetened chocolate. I like to make the fudge first because it takes the longest. It’s super simple, but cooks slowly to make it extra smooth.
Melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until dissolved. Add the sugar and mix well. Continue cooking over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the cream and milk; whisk well. Continue cooking over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.
For the crust you need about 18 chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, and two tablespoons unsalted butter, melted. In place of the cookies, you could also use nine chocolate graham crackers. Or you could buy the crust pre-made, although they don’t hold together quite as well because they aren’t baked.
While the fudge cools, pulse the cookies in a food processor (or crush by hand) until they are fine crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and pulse again until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour the crumbs into a lightly buttered pie pan.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator and fill with the softened ice cream. Use the back of a spoon to press and smooth the ice cream into place, making sure to get it all the way to the edges of the pan. Place the pie in the freezer to chill while you make your whipped cream.
To make the whipped cream, just whisk, with a hand or standing mixer on high, one cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Once peaks start to form, add one teaspoon of vanilla and continue whisking on high until stiff peaks form.
Remove the pie from the freezer and spread all of the whipped cream on top. This will give you a layer of about one and half inches of cream. If you like more than that, make an extra half batch of whipped cream.
At this point, you can serve the pie as it is, or you can add more goodies to the top. Drizzle hot fudge over the top and decorate with cookies cut in half, or crushed and sprinkled on. If your hot fudge isn’t quite smooth enough to drizzle, slowly warm it up until it is just smooth enough. If you warm it up too much, it will melt the whipped cream.
Chill the pie in the freezer for at least two hours before serving.
This is delicious! I mean, I want to have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner delicious! You’re not limited to doing cookies and cream either! Some other great combos are peanut butter cup ice cream with a chocolate graham cracker crust. Prepare everything exactly the same, just substituting peanut butter cup ice cream and decorations. You could also do coffee ice cream (I like to sprinkle toffee pieces and mini chocolate chips on top for that one). And of course, there’s mint chocolate chip. If you want to steer away from chocolate, a great option is butter pecan with a butterscotch or caramel filling instead of fudge, and a plain graham cracker crust. I’m telling you, the possibilities are endless! Whatever flavors you choose, enjoy!
Ice Cream Pie with Hot Fudge Filling
Makes one 9 inch pie
FOR THE HOT FUDGE [Printable Version]
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
FOR THE CRUST [Printable Version]
18 chocolate sandwich cookies or 9 chocolate graham cracker sheets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM [Printable Version]
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the hot fudge: Melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until dissolved. Add the sugar and mix well. Continue cooking over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the cream and milk; whisk well. Continue cooking over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a pie pan; set aside.
Pulse the cookies or graham crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and pulse again until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour the crumbs into the prepared pie pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until fragrant. Allow to cool completely before filling.
To make the whipped cream: Whisk, with a hand or standing mixer on high, the heavy cream and the of sugar. Once peaks start to form, add the vanilla and continue whisking on high until stiff peaks form.
To assemble the pie: Fill the crust with 3/4 cup hot fudge and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. While the crust is chilling, place a 1.5 quart container of ice cream on the counter to soften.
Fill the chilled pie crust with the softened ice cream and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes.
Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pies, decorate as desired, and chill for at least 2 hours.
Recipe by Darla. Hot fudge recipe adapted from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book, which I highly recommend (and at only $10, it’s totally worth it!)