Today is National Ice Cream Pie Day! We’ll take any excuse to celebrate ice cream and pie at Williams-Sonoma, and in the hot days of late summer, this holiday seems like a winner.
If you’ve never had ice cream pie before, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a crumbly piecrust filled with ice cream, sometimes topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with a few add-ons — toasted nuts, chocolate shavings and the like.
Today I’m featuring an ice cream pie close to my heart (and roots): Mississippi Mud Pie. Growing up in Mississippi, I tasted a hundred different versions — but this one has stood the test of time and become a favorite among Williams-Sonoma customers. I love that it reminds me of one my mom used to make, with Heath Bar bits and a graham cracker crust.
Mississippi Mud Pie
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. light corn syrup
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cookie crumb crust (see recipe below), made with chocolate cookies
1/2 cup toffee bits or coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1 quart premium coffee ice cream, softened
In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the chocolate chips, butter, cream and corn syrup. Set over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan until the chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, in a microwaveproof bowl, combine the chocolate, butter, cream and corn syrup and melt in the microwave for 30-second intervals. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture for the top of the pie. Spread the remaining mixture evenly in the bottom of the cookie crust. Sprinkle with half of the toffee bits. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the ice cream on medium speed until it is spreadable but not runny. Immediately mound into the pie shell and spread evenly. Freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Reheat the reserved chocolate mixture in the top of the double boiler over barely simmering water, or in the microwave for 30-second intervals, until it is spreadable but not hot. Using a spatula, spread it over the ice cream. Sprinkle with the remaining toffee bits and return the pie to the freezer until it is completely firm before serving, 3 to 4 hours.
To slice, run a knife under hot water, then dry it off. If frozen overnight, the pie may need to stand at room temperature for a few minutes before it is soft enough to slice easily. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Cookie Crumb Crust
1 1/4 cups cookie crumbs, such as graham crackers, chocolate wafers or gingersnaps
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbs. sugar
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter and sugar and stir until the crumbs are well moistened. Pat the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan or dish.
Bake until the crust is firm, about 5 minutes. For a firmer, crunchier crust, bake for 5 minutes more. Makes one 9-inch crust.