The original recipe calls for dulce de leche ice cream, which can be cloying. Combining dulce de leche milk caramel and vanilla ice cream creates a nice balance.
La Salamandra dulce de leche from Argentina is a good brand to use; it's available at Cork Market in Northwest Washington (202-265-2674) and through Amazon.com and other online gourmet purveyors.
Salty marcona almonds add crunch, but a layer of crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans or raspberries would also be delicious.
Make Ahead: The pie needs 1 1/2 hours' refrigeration to firm up before serving
- 1 1/2 pints vanilla ice cream
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche (see headnote)
- 1/3 cup salted Marcona almonds, chopped, plus more for optional garnish
Scoop the ice cream into the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer, then place it in the refrigerator to soften (for about 15 minutes) while you make the crust.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate at hand.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; mix well, then press the crumbs into the pie plate to form a single crust (bottom and sides). Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Let cool.
Use all of the dulce de leche to spread a thick layer on the bottom part of the crust, then scatter the chopped almonds evenly over the caramel.
Use a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer to beat the softened ice cream on low speed for a few minutes, until it is quite soft but has not melted. Transfer to the caramel-lined pie crust, smoothing it evenly on top. If desired, garnish with more chopped almonds.
Freeze for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until the filling is firm. Use a knife dipped in hot water to cut clean slices for serving.
Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s "Twist of the Wrist" (Knopf, 2007).
Tested by Jane Black.
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