This Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream Pie is an easy summer dessert the whole family will love! It’s wonderfully fruity, refreshingly tangy, and simple to throw together using just a few ingredients!
Thank you to Kroger for sponsoring this post!
This Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream Pie—which my husband has called “ridiculously good” and my father-in-law has declared “seriously delicious” and my son has dubbed “harmphbsdfkjsldrooooool”—has its roots in a quick and easy dessert my mom used to make when I was growing up.
Believe it or not, I didn’t grow up in a big dessert-eating family. I’m the oldest, and when I was growing up, my parents were trying this crazy thing called “healthy eating” that involved a lot of vegetables (and a lot of me pouting at the dinner table) and a distinct lack of after-dinner treats. Of course, by the time my youngest brother came around, it was all Fruity Pebbles for breakfast and brownies every night for dessert, but that’s another rant for another time.
For now, all you need to know is that desserts were for special occasions, and little sugar-obsessed Baby Liz remembered every sweet bite with a mind like a steel trap.
One of my favorite things my mom made was a thrown-together dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream, graham crackers, frozen lemonade concentrate, and Cool Whip. (Is there a real name for this recipe? Leave me a comment and tell me if you know a name for this!)
She would crush up the graham crackers and put a layer of crumbs on the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan, then mix together softened ice cream, defrosted lemonade concentrate, and Cool Whip and spread it on top. Another layer of graham crackers went on top, and after the pan was frozen, we’d eat square slices of this for dessert. It was tangy and refreshing, and somehow so much better than the sum of its parts. I remember LOVING it on hot summer days, and was always so excited whenever I saw a pan of this in the freezer.
So when Kroger asked me to share an easy family dessert, my mind immediately went back to this lemonade/ice cream invention. I wanted to make it again, but put my own spin on it. I decided to give it a slightly more elevated look and taste, but stay true to the things that made it so perfect for hectic family life—its speed, convenience, and the use of easy-to-find ingredients.
To the freezer section!
True confession: my first attempt at remaking this was a chocolate-orange version, with chocolate ice cream and orange juice, in an Oreo crust. It was promising, but the chocolate flavor was too heavy and it was just missing that light summer flavor I remembered so well. So I tried again.
The second time, I used Breyers strawberry ice cream and pink lemonade concentrate. Bingo! I love Breyers’ because they use high quality ingredients, and this particular flavor is great because it’s made with real strawberries, and you can see the chunks of fresh berries scattered throughout–giving the pie a really beautiful appearance (and realistic strawberry taste.)
Strawberries and lemons are already a match made in heaven, and when you combine the creaminess of strawberry ice cream with the tart bite of condensed pink lemonade, you have one heck of a refreshing, sweet-tangy dessert.
I am a little embarrassed to say this, but I tried it with both Cool Whip and freshly whipped cream, and I preferred the Cool Whip version. Don’t take away my foodie card, please! It just blended so nicely into the ice cream and gave the final dessert a really nice texture that was firm enough to cut cleanly, but not icy or hard. But you can substitute one for the other in equal amounts, so use whichever you’d prefer!
My final change in classing up this dessert was to use a fluted deep-dish tart pan to make it a pie, rather than serving it in slabs from a rectangular pan. You can do it either way, but it’s not much more work to make a graham cracker crust, plus then you can feel fancy when you whip out a whole pie at the end of a meal. No one needs to know it’s just something you threw together from the contents of your freezer! A quick swirl of whipped cream and some freshly sliced berries on top will give you all the gourmet gold stars you could ever desire.
For more quick and easy recipes, visit Freezer Fresh Ideas, where you’ll find lots of clever dinner and dessert ideas.
Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream Pie
- 7 oz unsalted butter
- 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (9 oz)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 quart Breyers strawberry ice cream
- 8 oz pink lemonade concentrate , defrosted
- 2 cups whipped topping or freshly whipped cream
- Additional whipped cream , to decorate
- Fresh strawberries , to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, and spray a 10-inch deep-dish tart pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the butter in a large bowl, and microwave for 45-60 seconds, until melted. Add the graham cracker crumbs and sugar to the melted butter, and stir until everything is well-mixed and the crumbs have the texture of wet sand.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the tart shell. Press firmly so the shell is stable. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, until the graham crumbs are fragrant and the shell just starts to take on a golden color. Cool completely before filling.
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer, and let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes, until softened. It should be soft and easy to stir, but not completely melted and liquid.
- Combine the softened ice cream, defrosted pink lemonade concentrate, and whipped topping in a large bowl. Stir until everything is well-mixed and no lumps of ice cream remain.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into the tart shell, and smooth it into an even layer. Freeze for at least 2 hours, until firm.
- Before serving, top the pie with whipped cream rosettes and slices of fresh strawberries. For the best taste and texture, let the pie sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving—it will be easier to slice through and tastes better when the texture has softened a bit.
- Any leftovers can be wrapped well in plastic wrap and kept in the freezer.
Note that this recipe makes one deep-dish 10-inch tart. If you don’t have this sized tart shell or pie pan, or if you want to use store-bought graham cracker pie crusts, you’ll get two shallow 9-inch pies out of it. You can either halve the recipe, or just wrap one pie securely and keep it in the freezer for a later dessert occasion!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kroger. The opinions and text are all mine.