As summer winds down and holds out with its last push of heat, I thought I would share with you a childhood favorite–Retro Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie. I call it Retro Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie because it became a favorite back in the 70’s and the main flavor in the pie is the peanut butter in the crust. This recipe became a staple in our house every summer after I discovered the recipe on the back of a cereal box. What???? A cereal box? Yes, believe it or not, that is how I rolled back in the day when I was finding out just how much I loved to cook. Besides being a closet nerd and reading the encyclopedia volumes, I loved perusing my mom’s cookbooks. Besides that favorite past time, I also loved stumbling upon recipe on the side of packaged foods, in those little recipe books at the check out in the grocery store, and of course, in newspapers and magazines.
Well, it just so happened that this recipe for Retro Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie was staring at me one morning while I was eating my Rice Krispies. I was looking at the back of the box and saw some pretty cool dessert recipes using Rice Krispies. Of course there was the typical Rice Krispie Treats recipe and I think one for some sort of Rice Krispie-ish popcorn ball looking thing. But, the one that sang to me was the one for the Ice Cream Pie. As I read the recipe, I could not believe how easy it was. This ended up being one of those time where I said, “Oh, I can make that!” Only 3 ingredients in the crust, then add ice cream and toppings. How simple was that? As I said, it became a staple in our house all summer long, every summer, and even sometimes throughout the year. Come on, who doesn’t love ice cream any chance you can get it. And double come on…in a Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie!!!
I think the thing I love about the dessert is that it is, of course so simple, but also how you can change the flavor profile by substituting some of the ingredients. So, by thinking outside the box you can substitute Almond Butter, Honey Peanut Butter, or Nutella to change the flavor of the crust. Then add your favorite ice cream flavor that will complement the crust. The final touch is the ice cream toppings and candies you can put on top to make it an “Over the Top” Retro Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie.
I do have to say, what I absolutely love, love, love the most about this Retro Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie is the memories that it brings back. Growing up in a large family, our budget was tight. But, we never would have known it as kids. Fortunately, there was always food on the table and lots of ingredients in the pantry. My mom would always work her magic with whatever food we had in the house. She always encouraged me to try out new recipes and to make the most of what we had on hand. I guess that is why I loved discovering recipes that did not require fancy ingredients to make them special. Like with this recipe, I felt like I was making a gourmet dessert because I was transforming my morning cereal into something spectacular!
That recipe for Retro Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie is a perfect example of the role food often plays in our lives. It is what we need to live and grow. It is a recipe that was passed down from a family member or friend. It is a recipe that we have decided we are daring enough to try. It is a light bulb that goes off in our heads when we are craving something we love and we figure why not make it at home instead of going out to a restaurant. But, most of all, food often is what brings us together. A family meal, a pot luck with friends, a meal given to a sick neighbor or parents of a newborn. It is comforting, it is a conversation piece, it is a hobby, it is an occupation. For me, cooking is a passion. I am not fancy. I am not a gourmet chef. I love to cook, try new recipes all the time, learn from other chefs and home cooks who love to do what I love to do. It is the gift I feel I have been blessed with. And if I can share it with you, help you to discover new recipes, while giving to others in the process, then my day is complete. So, here’s to lots of happy recipe memories, happy discoveries in your kitchen and happy last days of summer, from the Memorable Kitchen!
- 2 c. Rice Krispies
- ⅓ c. peanut butter
- ¼ c. dark Karo syrup
- 1½ quarts any flavor ice cream
- Ice cream toppings (chocolate syrup, caramel, fruit toppings)
- ½ cup chopped candies (peanut butter cups, M&M's, etc.)
- ¼-1/2 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts or other nuts
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the peanut butter and Karo syrup. Mix well. Fold in Rice Krispies.
- Spray a 9 inch pie pan with non stick cooking spray. Press Rice Krispie mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.
- Soften the ice cream for about 20 minutes. Spoon on top of the pie crust. Freeze for one hour before serving.
- Remove pie from the freezer. Top with ice cream toppings and candies.
- Cover leftovers with plastic and store in the freezer for up to one week.