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When I think about classic summer treats, the kind that have been vended from the windows of ice cream trucks for generations, the first that comes to mind is the Creamsicle. A Creamsicle, for those unfamiliar, is a bar of vanilla ice cream, coated with flavored frozen ice, and served on a stick (basically, a popsicle with an ice cream center). While Creamsicles come in many flavors, the most iconic is orange. Some team of Madison Avenue geniuses dubbed August 14th (just a few days from now!) National Creamsicle Day, and I've pulled together my own take on this orangey treat for the occasion.
My own experience with the Creamsicle is that it can be polarizing. In elementary school it was the only refreshment offered to parched students at the close of our annual field day. Some students eagerly accepted the treat and devoured it with gusto, while others looked on in revulsion. Many of the nay-sayers attempted to dissect the treat and enjoy its two parts by carefully nibbling off the orange exterior first, but the heat made this an exercise in futility. When I ask people how they feel about the Creamsicle, they all either love it or hate it. Few are indifferent.
I attempt to bridge the gap with this grown-up version of the childhood favorite. The flavors are a bit more subtle and there's none of that neon orange color or wooden stick. The filling tastes more natural because it's made with concentrated orange juice, contrasted with a creamy combination of vanilla pudding mix and cream cheese. The crust provides a crumbly, salty-sweet cradle for the filling. I like to use my standby recipe for oat crumble crust, but if you're short on time, pick up a graham cracker pie shell to use instead. Either way, the pie is sure to delight those in the Creamsicle camp, and many of those who are haters too.
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