Despite meticulous menu planning and marathon days of shopping and preparation, the actual event of Thanksgiving always manages to catch me off-guard. Between the mountains of mashed potatoes, valleys of crispy roasted Brussels sprouts, and oceans of mushroom gravy, something is almost guaranteed to get lost in the shuffle. Heaven forbid that it happens to be dessert left on the chopping block. When there’s no oven space left to squeeze in the smallest of baking sheets and no time left to make a tender fruit pie, fear not, for there is still at least one delicious, easy option within reach… Apple Ice Cream Pie.
Making the most of a few common components that can be bought ready-made or, should your planning allow a bit more time to dote on the dessert, created from scratch, this sweet grand finale is stunningly simple to assemble. Ice cream elevates the humble apple pie to new culinary heights, and takes baking time out of the equation. A cool, creamy end to one of the heaviest meals of the year, this no bake apple ice cream pie may even be a bigger hit than any traditional custard- or nut-based affair.
With the proper graham cracker crust and dairy-free ice cream, this recipe can be dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Here are some suggestions:
Graham Cracker Crust Options: Though not always healthy, and often containing additives, many premade graham cracker crusts are dairy-free, by ingredients (contact the company where severe milk allergies are a concern or consider homemade with “safe” graham crackers). Two that are also vegan (no honey) are Arrowhead Mills Graham Cracker Crust and Keebler Graham Ready Crusts.
For gluten-free, other special dietary needs, or if you have time, a homemade crust is a great option for this apple ice cream pie. Kinnikinnick makes some delicious gluten-free S’moreables Graham Crackers and gluten-free Graham-Style Crumbs - both of which are also dairy-free. Here are some recipes to put it all together:
Dairy-Free Ice Cream Options: What would an apple ice cream pie be without a suitable cool and creamy base? Fortunately, there are many casein-free, lactose-free AND vegan ice cream brands on the market – from soy- to coconut-based.
The most readily available brands include So Delicious Dairy Free (they offer soy-based, almond-based and allergy-friendly coconut-based varieties), Dream brand (with soy-based, almond-based and allergy-friendly rice-based varieties), and Coconut Bliss, a soy-free, coconut-based brand. There are many other brands out there, including some that may be regional to your area (like allergy-friendly Wink in the Northeast), so check grocers and natural food stores for your local selection.
For more holiday pie options, see our BIG Dairy-Free Pie Round-up.