Pumpkin Pie

A Thanksgiving Pie to Freeze Instead of Bake

November 19, 2015

Pie is good. Pie with ice cream is better. So why not cut out the middle man?

No-bake pumpkin pie (actually, it's the opposite). Photo by James Ransom

Come next Thursday, when the turkey didn’t defrost quite as quickly as you hoped it would, the sweet potato casserole came out two shade darker than “golden,” and “light flurries” turned into a blizzard warning, the last thing you'll want to do is start on a pie.

Do as former Food52 editor Brette Warshaw’s family does every year and save your sanity by making a ten-minute pie up to a week head of time (that's today!)—while helping both pie and ice cream reach their full potential. Hello, Ice Cream Pumpkin Pie.

Photo by James Ransom

Here’s what Brette says about her family’s pie:

Growing up, my family hosted Thanksgiving dinners of epic proportions: thirty to forty guests, scary-giant turkeys, magnums of red wine, etc. I have many classic suburban-American memories from that time of my life, ones filled with gourds and golden turkey skin and braised cabbage and mashed potatoes. And yet I have zero memories of actual pie-making. Instead, a week or so before the party, my mom would head to Scoops, an ice cream shop the town over from us, and pick up a few pints of pumpkin ice cream. She'd go to Stop n' Shop, and get Nabisco Gingersnaps. And then we'd smash the Gingersnaps, mix them with melted butter, press it all into a glass pie dish, and fill the dish with the pumpkin ice cream. I'd eat the melty leftovers, the pie would go in the freezer, and that was it. Instant classic.

Brette’s mom, Sheri, calls it “embarrassingly simple”—but we can’t think of a better way to represent the best parts of pumpkin pie.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Patricia Chandler-Newport
    Patricia Chandler-Newport
  • Mindi
  • Bruce Yanoshek
    Bruce Yanoshek
  • SuSanFran
  • AntoniaJames
I eat everything.


Patricia C. November 23, 2015
I find it sad that people want all these easy instant recipes made from store bought ingredients. There can be so much pleasure found in creating things with your own hands for others to enjoy. It doesn't have to be complicated, just put a little effort in.
Leslie S. November 23, 2015
I've also tried it with homemade pumpkin ice cream and ginger cookies—it's delicious however you choose to make it!
Mindi November 23, 2015
This looks amazing. Sometimes simple is the most impressive.
Bruce Y. November 22, 2015
or you could save all the work and just eat a scoop of ice cream with a gingersnap.
Leslie S. November 22, 2015
That's definitely an option but then you'd be missing out on the butter mixed into the crust—and the style points!
SuSanFran November 22, 2015
This should maybe be a Genius Recipe. It would also be easy to fancy up with either homemade ginger cookies for the crust, or high end bakery graham crackers with cinnamon sugar added for the crust.
BakerMary November 22, 2015
And/or homemade oumpkin ice cream!
AntoniaJames November 19, 2015
Pumpkin ice cream, especially from ice cream parlors, is just so darn good, isn't it? What a clever idea to make a pie like this. ;o)