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! When there’s no oven space left to squeeze in the smallest of baking sheets and no time to make a tender fruit pie, fear not! There is still at least one delicious, easy option within reach… Dairy-Free Apple Ice Cream Pie.
No Space to Bake? Make Dairy-Free Apple Ice Cream Pie!
This sweet grand finale is stunningly simple to assemble, and uses ingredients that are quite accessible this time of year. The dairy-free ice cream base takes the oven out of the equation, and elevates the humble apple pie to a new level. I think your guests might even prefer this cool, creamy end to one of the heaviest meals of the year. And to make it even easier, we have some options and recommendations based on a few FAQs.
Where Can I Get a Dairy-Free Graham Cracker Crust?
Believe it or not, most premade graham cracker crusts are dairy-free, including Keebler, Gluten-Free Mi-Del, and various store brands. But you can also make your own. Simply combine 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. Optionally whisk in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add a generous 1/3 cup melted dairy-fee buttery spread and stir until evenly coated. Press the mixture into a standard 9-inch pie pan. For a festive twist, use dairy-free ginger snap crumbs in place of the graham crumbs.
Which Dairy-Free Ice Cream Do You Recommend?
That’s an easy one! We held Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream Taste Test. Spoiler alert: the top pick was So Delicious Cashew Milk Frozen Dessert, so we used it for the nutrition facts in this apple ice cream pie recipe. But there other great options on that post, including nut-free pints.
What’s Apple Butter? Is it Dairy Free?
Don’t let the name fool you! Apple butter is a naturally dairy-free food. It’s basically applesauce that’s finely milled, and cooked down to a rich, buttery consistency. There are no guarantees, some producers could add actual dairy butter, but most apple butter varieties sold in stores are made without any dairy. But, you can also make your own! This Cinnamon Apple Butter Recipe can be made in a slow cooker or on the stove top.
Special Diet Notes: Apple Ice Cream Pie
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just be sure to pick the ingredients that suit your dietary needs. See the post above for tips and options.
- 1 dairy-free graham cracker crust (gluten-free, if needed; see post above)
- ½ cup chopped dried apples
- 2 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 pint dairy-free vanilla ice cream (see post above)
- 1⅓ cups apple butter (see post above)
- Place the dried apples, bourbon or rum, water, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat, and cook for about 2 to 5 minutes, stirring and watching carefully, until the apples have absorbed all of the liquid.
- Place the apples in your refrigerator or freezer to cool down quickly and completely.
- Soften the ice cream by letting it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the softened ice cream to a large bowl. Add 1 cup apple butter, and stir with a spatula until combined. Add the remaining ⅓ cup of apple butter and the rehydrated apple mixture and mix lightly, swirling it throughout the ice cream mixture without blending it in completely.
- Quickly transfer the filling into your graham cracker crust, and smooth out the top with your spatula.
- Freeze the pie for at least 2 to 3 hours, or until it reaches a sliceable consistency. If made ahead, cover the pie with plastic wrap once frozen, until ready to serve. Uncover and let the frozen pie soften for 10 minutes or so before slicing.