It's National Ice Cream Pie Day!

I love food holidays and today is National Ice Cream Pie Day! Hooray!Banana and Toffee Ice Cream Pie-Mama's High Strung But before we commence with the celebrations, here are a few ice cream fun facts direct from the  Ice Cream History website:

1. In 1851, the industrial production of ice cream began in Boston, Massachusetts.

2. The average American consumes almost 50 pints of ice cream in a year.

3. Vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream, followed by chocolate and strawberry.

4. More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.

5. It takes 12 gallons of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.

Now, back to the party.

Have you seen Jeni Britton Bauer’s cookbook “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home”? I love her recipe for banana ice cream. I changed it a bit and added an extra banana for more flavor-wow and threw in some chopped English toffee for a bit of a crunch.

You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe. Wilton’s Mini Pie Pan is absolutely perfect for making individual pie servings. I used my favorite vodka piecrust recipe, but you can use Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake Piecrust sheets to make it easier.

A lot of effort, I know. But this day only comes once a year... so give it all you’ve got!

   Banana and Toffee Ice Cream Pie Mama's High Strung

Banana and Toffee Ice Cream Pie
prep: 1 hour
cook: 30 minutes
bake: 10 minutes
freeze: 4-5 hours

for the ice cream you’ll need...
3 ripe bananas
2 cups whole milk, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon conrnstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1¼ cups heavy cream
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces chopped English toffee, divided

for the pie crust you’ll need...
1¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons cold vodka
2 tablespoons cold water

let’s get to it...
Puree the bananas in a food processor or blender until smooth; set aside.
Whisk 2 tablespoons milk and the cornstarch in small bowl; set aside. In medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth; set aside. Fill a large bowl ice and water. Boil the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla in a large saucepan on medium high heat for 4-minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the milk and cornstarch mixture. Return to heat and boil for 1 minute until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the pureed bananas. Pour mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and seal tightly. Submerge into the ice and water and chill 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
Pour the chilled mixture into a frozen ice cream canister or machine and spin until thick and creamy. When thick and creamy, stir in half of the chopped English toffee. Spoon ice cream into a storage container, press a piece of parchment paper directly on the ice cream and freeze for at least 4 hours.
Mix half the flour and salt in a food processor for 2-seconds. Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 to 15 times or until dough looks like cottage cheese and there is no loose flour; scrape bowl. Add remaining flour and pulse 5 or 6 times.
Remove dough from food processor and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over dough and fold until dough sticks together and all liquid is absorbed. Flatten dough into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (You'll still be able to see little pieces of butter in the dough).
Move oven rack to the second lowest position. Heat oven to 450°F.
Dust rolling pin and work surface with flour. Remove dough disk from refrigerator. Roll dough in a circle to a uniform thickness (about ⅛-to-¼-inch thick), about 1-inch larger than an upside down pie pan (or individual pie plates if using). Place rolled-out dough into pan and press gently into form of plate. Use excess dough to mend any sports or holes in dough. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough so you can "blind bake" the crust.*
Bake for 1o minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.
Spoon ice cream onto cooled pie crust. Top with remaining chopped English Toffee. Return to freezer for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

*Blind baking, also called pre-baking, is baking a crust without the filling. You do this when the filling has a shorter bake time than the crust. Also helps the crust from becoming soggy. You can prick the bottom and sides of the crust so it keeps its shape during baking. A better idea is to line the unbaked pie crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie-weights. Dried beans or lentils work well, too. 

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