Pumpkin Caramel Ice Cream Pie
This recipe has been embellished with a caramel swirl in the pie. I added this to my holiday repertoire many years ago and now this updated version is as much required for the Thanksgiving dessert table as the turkey is for the main course. If you’re in a hurry pick up a good quality caramel sauce. When I first served this, it was difficult to serve because the pie stuck to the bottom. I’ve remedied the problem by unmolding the pie shell before it is filled so the slices will cut easily and come right out of the pan.
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs (made from 25 gingersnap cookies)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 pints pumpkin ice cream
1/4 cup chilled caramel sauce
16 pecan halves, for garnish
Caramel Sauce (Trader Joe’s make a wonderful salted caramel sauce)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a 9-inch by 2-inch deep glass pie plate tightly with aluminum foil. Mix the chopped pecans and gingersnap crumbs together in a bowl. Add the butter and toss the crumbs to blend well. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie plate, using the back of a spoon, the heel of your hand or your fingers to press the crumbs. Chill until firm and bake for 6 minutes. Cool.
Place the crust in the freezer for 2 hours to chill it. Remove from the freezer and unmold the pie shell onto a flat surface. Peel the foil away very carefully so the shell stays intact and then replace it directly into the pie plate.
Soften the ice cream in a large bowl and mix with a large spoon until thoroughly blended and no lumps remain. Spoon into the pie shell and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. With a teaspoon dot the top of the pie with about 1/3 cup of caramel in spoonfuls. Using a skewer make a pretty design, going back and forth with the skewer, about 1/2-inch deep into the ice cream. Arrange the pecans around the outside edge of the pie in a concentric circle pushing down so that they are embedded in the ice cream mixture.
Place in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours. When frozen, cover tightly. To serve, thaw slightly in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Serve with warm caramel sauce.
Advance Preparation: Can be prepared up to 1 month ahead, covered well and frozen. Thaw slightly in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
Photo by Noel Barnhurst