A La Mode: Ice Cream Flavors That Go Well with Pie

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When it comes to our pie baking contest, the pie’s the thing, of course. But along with the baking and the sharing and the judging and the voting comes the eating—and that is often done best with a big scoop of ice cream on top. Are you a vanilla purist? What about cinnamon? Or caramel? We have a few opinions…

To be completely honest, I for one like my pie a la nothing. Just pie—no ice cream, no whipped cream, no drizzle of sauce. However, I realize I may be in the minority here, and there are definitely a few guidelines about what ice cream to serve with pie.

If you are serving ice cream on top of your slice, it should complement—not clash with—the flavor of the pie. Stick to simple, smooth ice creams without a lot of bells and whistles. Vanilla works with just about everything, but cinnamon can taste amazing with apple pie. Something with a single nut flavor (like pistachio) is also great with chocolate or a fruit galette.

If you scoop the ice cream right onto hot pie, the ensuing melt can make the crust soggy and mingle too much with the filling so that there are no longer distinct flavors: pie plus ice cream. Our opinion: Let the pie sit until it’s just warm before serving it a la mode.

Choose (or make) an ice cream flavor that adds another dimension to the pie, even if it’s just a mellow, creamy, vanilla accompaniment. In other words, no pumpkin ice cream with pumpkin pie. Let them play off of each other (like a lemon ice cream with a blueberry pie).

Finally, here are some pie-friendly recipes:

What’s your favorite pie-ice cream combination?

(Image: Flickr member fadedmilkyway, licensed for use under Creative Commons)