I don’t know about you, but with summer in full swing, I’m craving pie like crazy. Maybe it’s the fact that the farmers market is overflowing with fresh fruit or that fall, pie’s banner season, is on the horizon, but all I can think about is what kind of pie I’m going to bake next. To spread the love for this classic summer dessert, I decided to throw a build-your-own pie-sundae social.
“What the heck’s a pie sundae?” you ask? A divine combination of ice cream, pie filling and deconstructed crust, that’s what! The fun part a pie-sundae buffet is that your guests can switch up combinations with each bite, mixing and matching crusts, fillings and toppings to their heart’s sweetest desire. It’s a memorable dessert idea perfect for a birthday party, shower or special celebration, and one that can be surprisingly easy to pull together, especially if you plan ahead.
To start, plot out what fillings you’d like to serve. I went with lemon, French silk, pumpkin, pecan, banana cream, apple and mixed berry. Using your favorite pie recipes as inspiration, bake the fillings, minus the crust, in oven-proof casserole dishes. Since you’ll be transferring them to serving containers, you don’t have to worry about them looking pretty while they bake. If going the shortcut route is more your style, re-heated canned pie filling works just as well. You can also substitute pumpkin butter for the pumpkin pie filling, baked apples for the apple pie filling, lemon curd for lemon, chocolate pudding for French silk and berry jam for the berry. The beauty of this concept is that it’s flexible! Go all in on scratch fillings, or save time and head to the grocery store. Either way, it’s all good!
Next, let’s talk crusts. For my party, I went with store-bought items that would be easy to prepare ahead of time. Broken shortbread cookies, chocolate sandwich cookie pieces, crumbled up graham cracker crust and Pillsbury Pie Crust, which I cut into fun shapes before baking, all made the cut.
For final finishing touches, I assembled an array of toppings, again relying on store-bought shortcuts as often as possible. Whipped cream, toasty marshmallows, fudge, fresh fruit, caramel, cherries, chocolate pieces, an oat-y crumble and streusel all seemed well suited to the filling flavors. (I used Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix with one stick of butter for the crumble and part of this recipe, made with Bisquick, for the streusel.)
There’s no limit to the number of combinations you can create with your sundae bar, so I encourage you to get creative when assembling your pie sundae buffet. To get the ideas flowing, here are a few of my favorite combinations.
Lemon Meringue: vanilla ice cream, lemon curd, toasted marshmallows and graham cracker crust crumbles
French Silk: vanilla ice cream, French silk pie filling, chocolate sandwich cookie crumbles, whipped cream and chocolate shavings
Pecan: vanilla ice cream, pecan pie filling, pecans and crushed-up shortbread cookies
Mixed Berry: Vanilla ice cream, berry pie filling and oat crumble
Banana Cream: vanilla ice cream, banana slices, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, hot fudge, graham cracker crust and a cherry
Pumpkin: vanilla ice cream, pumpkin pie filling, pie crust cut-outs and caramel
Is there a pie sundae combination would you would like to try? If so, I encourage you to give it a try and let us know how it goes in the comments section below!