When you are in your late 20s, and married, and you tell people “I have some exciting news”, the first thing they’re going to think is that you’re pregnant. Just in case, you know, you find yourself in a situation where you have exciting news, other than having a baby, and you need a way to share it with people. Don’t do what I did and ask people to guess what your exciting news might be. They will certainly guess baby and then you will share an awkward moment where you all have to acknowledge that they thought you might be pregnant and you did not even consider that as a possible guess. No, I am not having a baby. Yes, I realize making a peanut butter, banana, and bacon ice cream pie is probably not the best call for dispelling that rumor. Whatever, it’s delicious.
The exciting news is a new job and the pie is something I thought up long before all this news came about. I got the idea from a crazy ice cream shop in my neighborhood makes a flavor based on just that combination. It’s called Elvis: The Fat Years because of The King’s preference for peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, with bacon if possible, and preferably fried because, why not?
The first time I tried the ice cream it had pieces of bacon and bites of banana swirled with a peanut butter ice cream. It was outrageously rich and intense, and every few bites you’d get a piece of salty bacon to wake your tongue back up. At least that’s what I remember it. It disappeared off the menu for months and by the time it came back around, the recipe had changed into something just as rich but not quite as satisfying as the flavor I remembered. I spent a while complaining about it, and then during one of those conversations when I bemoaned my great and terrible first worldly of first world problems, I realize that I could have been making that ice cream this whole time, just by folding peanut butter, banana, and bacon into vanilla ice cream. And then I figured if we were really going to take it over the top, it should be a pie. What kind of year of pie would it be without at least one ice cream version, especially during the summer?
Usually, with all this pie testing, I invite friends over to test a creation, we end up with a quarter of the pie left, and I’m happy to eat the leftovers during the week. But this pie has a lot of things going on. It’s big and loud, like The King himself, and best shared with a large group of friends. It’s also the ultimate in lazy-person-pie, easy to whip up for friends at the last minute since the only thing that takes time is cooking the bacon. The rest only requires mixing ingredients into vanilla ice cream and pouring it into a pie shell to freeze. You may have to fend off some awkward questions about your weird flavor combination, but you will also have pie to eat while you do it.
- 1 graham cracker pie crust (store bought or homemade)
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream, divided
- ⅔ cup peanut butter, divided
- 2 bananas, one cut into coins and the other cut into small chunks
- 6 oz bacon, cut into ¼ inch strips called lardons
- HEAT a frying pan over medium heat and add the bacon bits. Cook them, stirring often, until they are crispy - this should take about 15 minutes.
- DRAIN the bacon bits from the fat in the pan, arrange them on a paper towel or plate, and let them cool for at least 15 minutes.
- LINE the premade pie shell with banana slices so that the whole bottom is covered. Set the pie aside, and cut any remaining banana slices into small bites.
- WARM the peanut butter in a microwave for a minute, or over a very low heat, so it flows easily and can be mixed into things.
- MIX half a quart of vanilla ice cream with ⅓ cup of peanut butter. This is easiest to do with a food processor or blender. If you're doing it by hand make the ice cream is a bit softened and that you have a large bowl to mix in. Stir the ice cream and peanut butter together until fully blended.
- MIX the remaining half quart of ice cream with half the leftover banana bites, half of the remaining peanut butter, and half of the bacon bits. Add the peanut butter ice cream and stir in the half the remaining bacon bits (one quarter of the total) and stir again until everything is distributed but not fully mixed. You're looking for a mix of different bites so it doesn't need to be uniform.
- SCRAPE the ice cream mixture into the pie pan, being careful not to disturb the banana slices too much. Use a spatula to smooth the top of the pie.
- SPRINKLE the remaining banana bites and bacon bits over the top of the pie. Drizzle the remaining peanut butter on top - you may need to heat it again just to make it pour nicely.
- FREEZE the whole pie for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you're not going to serve the whole thing at once, put any leftovers in the freezer after you finish serving.
The bananas on top of the pie will start to go brown after a day in the freezer, so if you want to make this ahead, just mix all the banana into the pie before freezing. The leftover pie will keep a few days in the freezer, but be sure to cover it if you aren't serving it all that day, to avoid getting any off flavors in the exposed pie.