We All Scream for Ice Cream – 4th of July Picnic


On 4th of July, it is tradition to grill and picnic with family, or in my case, extended family & friends.
People had on flag shirts or just about anything red, white & blue…..or at least cool, considering it was hovering around the 100 degrees.   I’d say we were quite patriotic to gather in the heat and celebrate being Americans.    The picnic I went to was a potluck and everyone brought great food to go with the traditional hamburgers and hotdogs.
As a child, homemade ice cream was the norm….my Dad had an obsession which I may have inherited.  One of my fondest memories is sharing ice cream with Dad.    My last ice cream maker bit the dust, so I was delighted when walking through the WalMart markdowns and found an electric machine for $8.   It is the old-fashioned type using ice and salt, but with an electric plug….so no hand churning.
I’ve been trying to clean out my pantry so the bag of gluten-free pretzels left over from a friend’s visit were the inspiration for Ice Cream Pie with Pretzel Crust.     Local blueberries and strawberries, which happened to be in the fridge, completed the red, white & blue theme.    Previously I had found a blogger in Honduras who loves ice cream too, La Gringa’s Blogicito.   Her Cinnamon Ice Cream is luscious.    I used that for my ice cream pie but any ice cream will work.  As La Gringa says……ice cream makes you cool from the inside out.
Enjoy  and STAY COOL  !!
ICE CREAM PIE with PRETZEL CRUST
CRUST:
3/4 c butter/margarine
3 T brown sugar (I used regular Splenda)
2 1/2 C crushed pretzels ( about 1 8 oz bag)
Crush the pretzels in a food processor until relatively fine with a few small chunks.  Or, place in a ziploc bag (leaving a bit unsealed to release the air) & bang them with a crab mallet.   They can have some fine and some larger crumbs.   Add the sugar & blend with a fork.  Melt butter in microwave for 1 minute at a time using  50% power.   Add to crumb mixture & stir with a fork until all is blended.

Spray bottom & sides of a springform pan.  Pour the mixture into the pan and using the back of a fork, cover the bottom and up the side at least 1 1/2 in.     A 2 in side for the crust is better, if you can.   Instead of a fork, use a piece of saran wrap a bit larger than the pan, which works wonders for creating an even crust.    Bake in a 350 oven for 10 min.   Cool slightly and put pan/crust in freezer.
NOTE:   I had a jar of carmel ice cream topping in the pantry, which I warmed in the microwave for 30 sec and pour a thin layer over the bottom of the crust.
 
FILLING:   Allow 2 quarts of vanilla ice cream (may need only 1 1/2 quarts) to soften a bit.  Dollop the ice cream into the frozen crust.  Do not fill completely.   Allow 1/2 in of crust to rise above the ice cream.  Put back in the freezer until ice cream is completely hardened again.   Depending upon your freezer temperature, this can be 2-3 hours.  Overnite is best, covered with saran wrap.

TOPPING:
1 pint strawberries, quartered
1 pint blueberries, whole
4 T. splenda or sugar
Mix together and put in refrigerator.   When ready to serve, release springform and place on a flat platter.   Pour fruit on top.  Cut with a very sharp knife and serve. 

OPTIONS:
Use a a cookie or graham cracker crust.   Cookies do not need any added sugar, only butter.
Use any flavor ice cream.   I used cinnamon but coffee ice cream is fabulous.
Use any fruit in season or use frozen fruit.   If you use frozen, you may want to drain a bit of the juice after thawing. 
Pour ice cream fudge from a jar & chopped pecans to make a turtle pie.
Use bananas and strawberries – banana split pie.
Be creative …..it is really a great big ice cream sundae in a pan.

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About Pat Thomas

As an amateur gourmet who loves what food brings to our lives other than the needed nutrition. I share all my foodie experiments with friends & family. Thankfully they are usually delighted but always kind with whatever I've cooked up.
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