Serious Eats: Sweets

Scooped: Apple Pie Ice Cream

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

We've tackled pumpkin pie. We beat pecan pie at its own game. And now we have apple pie—the third installment in our case for why homemade ice cream belongs on your Thanksgiving table.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have pie. I'm saying that pie is hard, and ice cream is comparatively easy, and the surprise of homemade ice cream—let alone homemade picecream is enough to convince most people that you're a domestic force to be reckoned with. And isn't Thanksgiving really about showing your in-laws how much of a better cook you are?

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Caramelized apple mush.

Kidding aside, this is one ice cream you can use as long as the weather's cool. It's rich and dense, with a delicate but deep caramel appleness that comes from cooking four cups of chopped apples into one cup of burnished, golden apple mush. With that much apple flavor you don't need much in the way of spices—just a tinge of cinnamon to round everything out.

Pie crust, as it turns out, doesn't take very well to ice cream. The butter-rich pastry freezes firm and crumbly, unfriendly to both an ice cream scoop and an eater's molars. Tea biscuits, those cookies the British also call "digestives," have a light buttery flavor and a softer, cake-like texture perfect for ice cream. And they're way easier than making pie crust.

You don't need to reconsider pie this Thanksgiving, but you should reconsider what goes on top of it. Whipped cream is nice, and storebought ice cream works in a pinch. But if you're looking to take your dessert in a new direction, ice cream will do you right.

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Apple Pie Ice Cream »

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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