Strange as it may seem, a video on the Cook’s Country website explains that melted vanilla ice cream adds richness to the apple filling, as well as sugary vanilla flavors. Think of it as a substitute for cream, which is a common ingredient in dutch apple pie recipes. In the video, ½ cup of melted vanilla ice cream is added to 2.5 pounds of sliced Gala apples (Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious varieties also work here, per Bob’s Red Mill), along with cinnamon, lemon juice, and sugar. The filling is then left to “marinate” at room temperature for about an hour before being added in handfuls to the crimped pie dough. And be sure to add the liquid from the bowl to the filling.
After baking, Cook’s Country explains that the pie should rest for four hours or overnight so the apples can “settle,” which makes the pie a breeze to slice. The taste, as the outlet explains, is rich and robust, while the apples retain some texture for a soft bite. And if you really want to take things up a notch, New England Today states that butter pecan and maple walnut ice cream are tasty pairings for apple pies, so feel free to substitute these flavors for the melted vanilla ice cream.