Orange Ice-Cream Pie

In the South, ice-cream pies are a first cousin to icebox pies, and a particular favorite both at children’s birthday parties and at ice-cream socials held in the summertime. The variations are limitless (different-flavored ice creams, different secondary flavorings, etc.), and it’s truly amazing how the ice cream maintains its firm texture even when the pie is briefly baked to brown the meringue. Obviously, however, this is a pie that should be served the second it comes out of the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into bits and softened
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened slightly
  • 4 large egg whites
  • teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons grated orange zest

Method

In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and butter and rub the mixture with your fingertips till well blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate and chill for 2 hours. Fill the shell with the ice cream, spread evenly with a rubber spatula, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze till the ice cream is hard, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar and beat with an electric mixer till soft peaks form. Add the vanilla plus the sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating constantly till the meringue holds stiff peaks. Sprinkle the orange zest evenly over the ice cream, spread the meringue evenly over the top, and bake just till the meringue is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.