Summer is a great time for ice cream. It’s cool, it’s creamy, and I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like ice cream. It’s the absolute crowd-pleaser when the temperatures climb. Add toasted marshmallows, salted butter chocolate sauce, and Graham crackers? I’m in, all the way.
Unlike others, I don’t have nostalgic memories that involved S’mores, so I’m making up for lost time. This S’more ice cream pie may not evoke childhood remembrances, but it gives me plenty of new, adult ones.
A summer challenge is melting ice cream. On the other side of ice cream challenge is one of my FAQs; Why does homemade ice cream get so hard in the freezer? For the former, I can’t control the weather (sorry!) so ice cream is gonna to melt.
For the latter, you can point a finger at home freezers, which are colder than freezers in ice cream shops, unless you keep opening and closing your freezer all day to dip your spoon into the ice that’s in there, which is something I’ve been known to do.
Whatever ails you, this S’mores Pie will be your savior for the summer. It’s a few steps to get the pie together, but each component can be done at your leisure. The crust can be made, and baked, in advance. The ice cream can be put into the crust whenever the mood strikes.
The marshmallow topping can be whipped up whenever you’re ready to rev up your stand mixer. And the salted butter chocolate sauce can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator, ready to spoon over the slices of pie, when served. (Unless you eat it all first, which is a real possibility.)
S'mores Ice Cream Pie with Salted Butter Chocolate Sauce
For do-ahead folks out there, here's your dessert! The entire ice cream pie can be made in advance, including browning the marshmallow topping, then frozen until ready to serve. Added bonus: the pie is easier to slice when the whole thing is frozen.
To make Graham cracker crumbs, crush Graham crackers in a freezer bag or food processor. Outside the U.S., I've made my own Graham crackers (using the recipe in Ready for Dessert), or store-bought Biscoff/speculoos cookies, which are moister than Graham crackers, but work fine.
I chose to fill my pie with coffee cajeta ice cream, since I was on a coffee ice cream bender, but you can fill it with any flavor of ice cream that you like. For tips on using gelatin, and other ingredients in this pie (and substitutions), I've included helpful links after the recipe.
For the crust
1 1/2 cups (180g) Graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
2 pints (1qt, 1l) ice cream, homemade or store-bought
For the marshmallow topping
1 envelope (7g) unflavored gelatin powder
1/4 cup, plus 1/3 cup (60ml, and 80ml) cold water
1/3 cup (100g) light corn syrup
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
To make the crust
1. Mix together the Graham crackers, sugar and butter until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Press them into a 9-inch (23cm) pie tin or ovenproof pie plate (see Note at end of recipe), using a drinking glass to get the bottom of the pie crust flat, pressing the crumbs up the side with your fingers. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Remove the pie crust from the freezer and bake until the crust is browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
3. When the crust is cool, let the ice cream soften a bit so it's spreadable, and carefully spread it into the prepared pie shell, being careful not to break the sides. (Tip: Sometimes it helps to beat the ice cream on medium speed in a stand mixer, fitted with the beater attachment, until it's smooth and soft enough to spread.) Return the pie to the freezer.
To make the marshmallow topping
4. Sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/4 cup (60ml) cold water in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
5. In a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the remaining 1/3 cup (80ml) cold water, corn syrup, and sugar over medium heat. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
6. When the syrup reaches about 210ºF (99ºC), begin whipping the egg whites. When the syrup reaches 245ºF (119ºC), with the mixer on high speed, in a slow, steady stream, pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, aiming between the whip and the side of the bowl. (If the syrup hits the whip, it'll cling to the side of the bowl, rather than incorporated into the egg whites.)
7. Scrape the gelatin into the still-warm saucepan, stirring it until the gelatin is dissolved, then whip it into the egg whites. Continue to beat on high speed until the marshmallow topping is room temperature. Remove the ice cream pie from the freezer and spread the topping over the pie. (If you want to finish it later, you can return the marshmallow-topped pie to the freezer. Or you can broil the topping now and return it to the freezer as well, to serve later.)
8. To finish the pie, turn on the broiler of your oven. Place the pie on an upper rack of the oven and until the top is browned, watching it carefully so it browns evenly and doesn't burn.
9. Remove from the oven. To slice and serve, dip in a long, sharp knife in hot water and cut a slice of the pie, without wiping the blade: the hot water will prevent the marshmallow topping from sticking to the blade. For clean slices, you may need to rinse and wipe the blade of the knife clean between slices.
Storage: You can freeze the baked or unbaked crust for up to two months. Once the marshmallow topping is browned (step #8), you can freeze the pie for a few days. It can be sliced right from the freezer, using a knife dipped in very hot water.
Note: I've made this S'mores Pie a few times and never had problems with using a pie plate, however, some brands and materials may not be suited to going from freezer-to-oven. Metal pie pans work well. For this one, I used a pie plate made of borosilicate, which is thermal and shockproof, so can go from freezer to oven. If you're unsure if your pie plate can go from the freezer to a hot oven, check the manufacturer's website. (Disclosure: The pie plate I used was a gift from Oxo, who gave it to me to try.)
Related Links and Recipe
Salted Butter Chocolate Sauce
Pumpkin Pie with Marshmallow Topping
Tarte au citron
How to use gelatin and conversions
Ingredients for American Baking in Paris
Homemade Graham Crackers (Smitten Kitchen)
Ice Cream Recipes (Archives)
When to use, and not use, corn syrup
Baking Ingredients and Substitutions