We’re well into fall but the temperatures are comfortably in the mid seventies here in Michigan. This means I haven’t been able to wear any of the cute sweaters I bought over the summer in anticipation of living in a colder climate. It also means that I’m not ready to give up on cold sweet treats just yet! This apple cider ice cream pie is perfect for this strange fall we’re having because it’s full of fall flavors but it’s also a nice cold treat.
I whipped up this apple cider ice cream pie up as a Game Day dessert for an air conditioned tailgate (read: inside) I hosted this past weekend and it was such a hit! Especially the caramel sauce. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I devoured it by the spoonful. Honestly, we’re lucky I had any left when it came time to serve it with the pie.
I call this an ice cream pie but the truth of the matter is you don’t have to make ice cream! A more accurate title might have been ‘apple cider ice cream shortcut pie’ but I figured that was too long and might require too much explaining. Using the cool whip and the sweetened condensed milk as a base instead of the custard helps achieve that smooth and melty ice cream consistency without actually needing to churn anything. Sounds like a win-win to me.
In exploring my new home last week I stumbled upon an adorable cider mill. Besides some bomb cinnamon rolls topped with apple cider glaze, the mill also had some amazing apple cider. Needless to say I bought a gallon and quickly set out to make something delicious with it.
While most of the recipe for this apple cider ice cream pie is unbelievably easy, there is one potential pitfall that can cause problems for even the most advanced of foodies. I can’t emphasize enough that you should keep an eye on the apple cider as it reduces. My first batch burned because I forgot about it and I’m still trying to get the burn in my new pot. If I hadn’t literally just gotten the pot off my wedding registry I might have written it off but I’m determined to fix it. Please send any tips you may have my way!
I want to say I was distracted because I was doing something really productive with my time but I was in fact sucked into another Family Feud marathon. I’ve decided I need to get my family on there but only half of us live in the US so my dream of making Steve Harvey laugh while also answering questions in the same way that a large portion of survey respondents did is not likely to happen.
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 sleeve of graham crackers
- 11 tablespoons of butter, divided
- 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup cinnamon, divided
- 4 cups cool whip
- 2 cups brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Place apple cider in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let boil until the mixture reduces to be about 1 ½ cup. This will take about 20 minutes but make sure to keep an eye on it because it will burn.
- While the apple cider is reducing, place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until only crumbs remain. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Add in the melted butter to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine. When the crumbs look evenly wet, press into a pie dish and place in freezer.
- Once the cider is reduced, place in the bowl of a stand mixer, let cool for a few minutes by running the paddle on low. Keep the mixer on and add in the sweetened condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Fold the cool whip in. Spread mixture over the graham cracker crust and freeze for 5-6 hours.
- Next, make the caramel by combining the remaining butter and brown sugar to a large pot over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything has melted. Bring to a boil before removing from the heat and mixing in the heavy cream and the remaining cinnamon. Return to the heat until it starts to boil again. Store in an airtight container.
- When ready to eat the cake, drizzle caramel on top of each piece.