The very first pie recipe I’ve posted to this blog and once again it’s not even technically mine. Add it to the bin of family recipes that probably came from a 1960’s cookbook but throughout the years became our own. This pie is a go-to of my Grandma’s. She made it for my mom and her sister when they were growing up, and we eat it a lot at birthday gatherings or other celebrations. I did try and do some sleuthing on the internet and while there are a lot of recipes that call for a pretzel pie crust, none that I found have this exact pretzel-ice cream-meringue combo. And y’all, this is a GREAT combo. I’m talking sweet, salty, toasty, creamy, crunchy. Basically every good thing is in this pie. And it’s literally so easy! There are a total of FIVE minutes that this pie spends in the oven (unless you own a blowtorch). If you work fast it could be done in less than 1 hour. And this is the FIRST recipe that I know 100% can be made vegan. Pretzels are usually vegan. Vegan butter can absolutely be used for the crust. Find some vegan ice cream and slap it in there. Vegan meringue? Apparently you can use bean water.
Go wild go crazy.
This is also a great time to post this pie recipe because we are finally heading into SUMMER and although right now we cannot GO ANYWHERE you can still make this pie and maybe eat it outside and pretend you’re at the beach. We all have our coping mechanisms.
I would classify this pie as a recipe that is mostly beginner level. The only part that can be tricky is making the meringue (which is pretty easy if you have a stand mixer imo) but if that’s too much for you, or you just can’t be fucking bothered today, skip the meringue! You’ll still have a delicious slice of ice cream pie with a pretzel crust, and it would be DELICIOUS with just some whipped cream on top as well. It’s your pie.
The one important thing to remember with this pie is to obviously keep it cold. Freeze in between each step to ensure that the ice cream doesn’t melt, and obviously keep any leftovers in the freezer. One thing I actually discovered is that meringue doesn’t seem to freeze solid??? Like we’re on day 3 of having this pie in our freezer and it’s still soft. I have no idea why this is. Google says that meringue can freeze solid but mine has not done that. Regardless, keep it in the freezer.
Makes 1 9-inch pie
For the crust:
-1 and 1/4 cups crushed pretzels (you can pulse them in a food processor or place in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin or other weapon)
-6 Tbsp softened butter
-5 Tbsp sugar
For the filling:
-1 quart ice cream, any flavor (flavors that work really well include butter pecan, toasted almond, vanilla, or the one I used for this pie that worked really well: salted caramel pretzel)
For the meringue:
-6 egg whites
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp vanilla
Optional (but HIGHLY recommended) Extra pretzel crumbs for serving on the side:
-1 cup crushed pretzels
-3 Tbsp melted butter
-1 Tbsp sugar
Refrigerate until ready to serve
Combine crushed pretzels, sugar, and softened butter in a bowl. Using a mixing spoon, spatula, pastry cutter, or honestly your CLEAN fingers, mix together until butter is incorporated and mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Press mixture into 9-inch pie pan (aluminum is best), making sure that the crust extends onto the lip of the pan, not just the sides. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Soften ice cream just enough so that it can be spread into the pie plate. Remove crust from freezer and fill with ice cream until level with the top of the pie plate, then return pie to freezer until you’re ready to make the meringue. (You can do this step ahead of time and then just make the meringue the day you want to serve the pie)
For the meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) beat egg whites until they begin to foam. While continuing to beat the eggs, stream in sugar very slowly until it has all been incorporated. Continue to beat until you reach soft peaks, then add vanilla and beat until you reach stiff peaks. You know you’ve reached stiff peaks when you can lift the whisk out of the bowl and the meringue stands in a straight point, and when you can turn the bowl upside down and the meringue does not fall out.
Take pie out of the freezer and dollop merinuge over the top, making sure to “seal” it onto the crust so that it doesn’t pull away ( if the edges of the meringue are touching the crust you’re golden). Return pie to freezer until you’re almost ready to serve.
To toast the meringue, preheat the oven to 450 F. Stack the pie into another aluminum pie pan (or just wrap the bottom in foil, apparently this keeps the crust from falling apart, but this is untested) and bake for 3-5 minutes (keep an eye on it, it can burn and obviously if you leave it in too long it can melt). Alternatively, if you’re a cool dude who owns a blow torch, blow torch the top of the meringue until nicely browned and toasty looking. Serve pie immediately, with extra pretzel crumbs on the side.
There you go! A very easy, very delicious ice cream pie. If you try it out let me know how you like it. I’m going to have a LOT of free time (like….too much) starting pretty soon, and I’m thinking it’s going to be a BPS (A Big Pie Summer) so stay tuned for more pie….and possibly more ice cream??? We shall see.