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  !!
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.

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. 

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.

About Pat Thomas

I love 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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