S’mores Ice Cream Pie
For the crust:
unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Diamond Crystal kosher salt
For the ganache:
heavy whipping cream
chopped bittersweet chocolate
For the ice cream:
heavy whipping cream
sweetened condensed milk
instant espresso granules or 3 tablespoons (21g) instant espresso powder
Generous pinch kosher salt
For the meringue:
egg whites (about 120g)
rum or brandy (optional)
S’mores Ice Cream Pie
This no-bake pie has all the best elements of a s’more—plus ice cream, making it a more refreshing option for warm summer nights. A graham cracker crust lined with a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache holds a super easy no-churn espresso ice cream, topped with a cloud of marshmallow-y Swiss meringue. Toast the meringue using a blowtorch, or flambé it à la baked Alaska to bring the campfire directly to the table.
- Make the crust. Place a parchment round in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Place graham crackers in a gallon-size Ziploc bag and press out as much air as possible. Hit the bag with a rolling pin or cast-iron skillet repeatedly until the cookies are broken down into fine crumbs. Add the crumbs to a medium-size mixing bowl along with the melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened and resemble wet sand. Using your hands, press a little less than half the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the springform pan. Press the remaining mixture evenly onto the sides of the pan, trying to compact the crumbs as much as you can. The crust should go about 2 to 2.5 inches up the sides of the pan, but it won’t reach the top. Cover lightly and freeze.
- Make the ganache. Add the chopped chocolate to a small heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute before stirring until the mixture becomes dark, glossy, and fully emulsified. Pour the warm ganache over the bottom of the graham cracker crust. Use a spatula to spread the ganache into an even layer, and return the crust to the freezer.
- Make the ice cream. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream, sweetened condensed milk, instant espresso, vanilla extract, and salt. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until thick and glossy. You want to stop mixing just before the mixture holds a peak—overmixing will result in a slightly buttery-textured ice cream. Look for the mixture to have visibly thickened. It should drizzle off the whisk and pile up on top of itself in the bowl before slowly disappearing back into itself. If in doubt, undermix rather than overmix. Pour the thickened ice cream base into the graham cracker crust and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- Make the meringue. Place the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Add 2 inches of water to a medium-size pot and bring to a simmer over high heat. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and place the heatproof bowl of egg whites over the pot, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. Heat the egg white mixture, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Then mix on medium-high speed using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Use a spatula to evenly spread the meringue over the ice cream layer of the pie. Give the meringue a few carefree swoops with the spatula or the back of a spoon for an attractive, whimsical look. The pie may now be frozen for up to 2 days before serving. When ready to serve, use a blowtorch to deeply toast the meringue. Alternatively, place the pie under a well preheated broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown (make sure you serve the pie immediately, as the ice cream will be getting melty by this stage). Or, to flambé the pie, heat rum or brandy in a small saucepan over low heat until just hot (don’t let it boil). Remove from the heat. Use a long match to light the alcohol. Very carefully pour the flaming alcohol over the meringue. Serve immediately.
Zola Gregory is a writer and recipe developer based in Seattle. Having previously worked as a pastry chef and baker, she now enjoys helping others find success in their own kitchens through her stories, recipes, and baking classes.