Fruity Ice Cream Smoothie Pie

"picnic flowers"

Twice this past week, I’ve been asked about our July 4 weekend plans and each time, I felt a bit awkward before responding we had none.  The feeling of awkwardness is more uncharacteristic than any worry of not having plans, because plans are easy to make if I’m interested, or prodded by those who are challenged in this area which is most often the case.

The feeling of awkwardness makes no sense.

It’s been forever since we’ve made a big hoo-haw over July 4th.  Having a child with a birthday on the 2nd has put the focus more on that for 18 years, and this year he’s at school, so we’re without that as well to have an excuse to party.  My extended family feels a bit strung about the country right now, my older boys always seem to work on busy holidays, and my husband’s family is in need of a cheerleader to rally them into one big get together for these occasions.

Before you have any thought of my gearing up for an all out whine, you have to know I’m the last person to feel badly about not having plans, which gets me back to the awkwardness.  I don’t get it.  But I’ve written a list for my husband of what we might do this holiday weekend because he loves having plans for any reason whatsoever.  Call him the original Party Man.

Party Man’s Fourth of July Weekend To-Do List:

  1. Take the beach umbrella & book/iPad/beverage/munchies to the water either this afternoon, tomorrow afternoon, or Sunday afternoon. (Check — Friday evening)
  2. Shopping.  There are lots of great sales on this kind of weekend, and maybe we can find a killer deal on something.  You know, because you always need something, right? (Party Man went by himself Saturday.  Check.)
  3. Picnic dinner (packed in the picnic bag we never use) somewhere for the 4th.  Choose a spot we’ve never been depending on where the fireworks are — like the Embarcadero or something.  We could walk to the Cove again which would be fine with me.  Either pack the picnic bag, or pick a place in town to eat, then walk to see fireworks. (Looks like an impromptu BBQ with family on the 4th.  Check.)
  4. You could rent a beach cruiser and I could finally use the bike Mom gave me to cruise all the way around Mission Bay from Crown Point Drive at the end. I need to figure out how to get that bike in my car anyhoo. (Does renting a sailboat count? Saturday with friends. Check.)
  5. Do the “make like a tourismo thing” on Coronado, in Encinitas, Ocean Beach, or you name it which means “goose necking” in the shops, having lunch,  and enjoying the sunshine.
  6. Choose a place tonight and go on an impromptu road trip up the coast like Malibu or something.  Stay one night.  Nothing fancy.  So, Saturday and Sunday.  It would be fun! (Not — Catsitting my brother’s cat)
  7. Help me figure out how to build a fence for the patio, because I’m pretty sure I can do it.  Maybe. (Check — consulted with someone who had good ideas)
  8. Choose a place in San Diego — like downtown — so I can walk around and take photos.  Balboa Park would even be okay. You can hold the camera stuff. (Does Mission Bay count?  Saturday with friends.  Check.)
  9. Want to see the Padres?  Not high on my list, but relaxing.  I like the ball park. (Not — they’re in Seattle this weekend.)
  10. Walk to the boardwalk when the holiday is in full gear just to gawk at all the crazy beach people.

This is what you get to do when your kids are grown and there are no invitations.  Make your own party.  Freeing, to some extent, and certainly nothing to feel awkward about.  Just different.  We’re not very good at it yet, but we’re working on it.  No sooner had I sent this list to him than he remembered Tour de France begins tomorrow.  Nice.

Because a summer holiday weekend calls for ice cream at some point, I say make it a smoothie instead — or an ice cream smoothie pie.  This one isn’t complicated, but does take a bit of planning ahead.

Happy Independence Day!

"pie slice with caramel"

Fruity Ice Cream Smoothie Pie


  1. Make one batch of this vanilla ice cream or use a purchased quart of your favorite.
  2. While the ice cream is processing, make the pretzel crust.
  3. While the ice cream is in the freezer, make the fruit purees.
  4. Assemble the pie after the crust is completely cooled, the purees are chilled, and the ice cream has been in the freezer at least 1 hour post processing.

Pretzel Crust Ingredients

1-3/4 c. crushed sourdough pretzel nuggets
1/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Crush the pretzels in a food processor until coarse crumbs, no larger than the size of oatmeal.
  3. Add the brown sugar and butter and pulse until  ingredients are evenly mixed.
  4. Lightly spray an 8″ round pan with a removable bottom with oil, then pour the pretzel mixture into the pan.
  5. Using your fingers or a rubber spatula, press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan and up the sides about 2 inches.
  6. Bake the crust 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and press against the crust lightly with a rubber spatula, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Puree Ingredients

2 ripe mangoes, cut into chunks
8 oz. raspberries, fresh or frozen
3-4 nectarines, about 8 oz., chopped
3/4 c. sugar, divided into 1/3 quantities


  1. Puree each fruit separately in a blender or food processor, each with 1/4 c. sugar.
  2. Chill separately until ready to use.


  1. Divide ice cream into 3 equal quantities.  If it has been frozen for quite a while, allow to soften before continuing.
  2. Add one flavor of puree to a third of the ice cream in 1/2 cup quantities.  Stir to blend well, add an additional 1/2 cup and blend again.
  3. Pour into the completely cooled pie crust and place in the freezer about 30 minutes.
  4. While the first layer is chilling, make the second.
  5. Add 1/2 of the second flavor of puree to a third of the ice cream, blend well, then add an additional 1/2 cup and blend again.
  6. Pour this mixture over the top of the first layer and smooth evenly with spatula.
  7. Chill the two layers 30 minutes.
  8. Follow the same procedure for the third puree, adding to the remaining third of the ice cream 1/2 cup at a time, mixing, then adding another.
  9. Finish assembly by pouring the last layer over the other two and allowing to freeze at least 1 hour before serving.
  10. To remove from the pan, run an very hot wash cloth around the exterior of the pan a couple of times, then gently insert a butter knife along the edge to loosen it.  You may have to do this more than once before you can release the pie from the pan.

If desired, make a caramel sauce which uses some of the leftover nectarine puree before serving.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. creme fraiche
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. nectarine puree


  1. Cook sugar over medium heat until caramelized.
  2. Add the creme fraiche while stirring, then the puree and lemon juice.
  3. Stir until smooth.
  4. Cool completely, then gently warm when ready to serve.

"ice cream base"

"vanilla bean ice cream"

"summer fruit"

"summer fruit puree

"raspberry smoothie in pretzel crust"

"frozen smoothie pie"

"fruity ice cream smoothie pie"

"fruity ice cream smoothie pie"

"caramel sauce"

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe was developed for the Daring Kitchen.  Stop by to read about some of my summer memories — and if you’re willing, share some of yours below.
  • If you think about it, the entire thing can be made from purchased ingredients, but the ice cream recipe is the best vanilla ice cream I’ve had with no egg base, and how can you go wrong with fresh fruit puree?
  • It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t.  It’s more about planning ahead.  Because the ice cream base needs to steep for 1 hour, and then needs to chill completely before and after processing, this takes the most amount of time.  You can take care of that a day ahead.
  • You can also make the fruit purees ahead of time — one or two days in advance.  Keep them in the fridge in a sealed container and they’ll be ready to use.  About the purees — sweetness of fruit depends, so taste your fruit and adjust your added sugar gradually.  You don’t want to go overboard.
  • I’ve been wanting to make a pretzel crust for a long time and it was worth it.  It’s sturdy and it’s a great texture/flavor contrast to the ice cream fruit layers.  It may be a bit puffy after the cooking time and the sides may shrink.  You can either use foil filled with dried beans or pie weights to hold the crust in place as it bakes for the first 10 minutes of cooking time, then remove it, or follow my directions above which worked just fine.
  • If you decide to use a 9″ pan, it’s fine.  The ice cream layers will just be thinner.  In fact, you might decide to use a regular pie pan and mound each layer in the center to make it a “Mile High Frozen Pie.”
  • On the caramel sauce — It’s not a smooth sauce like a normal caramel would be because of the nectarine puree, but that gives it an interesting flavor.  I adapted this sauce from this recipe which I made the first time exactly as written.  Either way, it’s an interesting sauce, and a great topping for this pie.
  • If you want to get crazy, you might consider layering fresh fruit or berries between the ice cream flavors and finish with a whipped topping.

"fruity ice cream smoothie pie with caramel sauce"

"fruity ice cream smoothie pie"

"fourth of july fireworks"


40 thoughts on “Fruity Ice Cream Smoothie Pie

  1. Now that’s fancy. Happy early birthday to your son. I’m a July 1st baby. 🙂
    Have a great weekend.

  2. I have a husband who lives in fear of nothing planned for the weekend, while I savor the chance to have nothing planned for the weekend – it’s really a challenge, especially with kids grown and gone. I’ve learned that if I just get something social on the books (we’re having dinner with friends tonight), find one thing to do together (golf tomorrow) and give him a list of enough things to do around the house (remulch where the dog dug, dig up the overgrown remains of the arugula, take the dog to be weighed to see what she’s grown to at 4 months) I can keep him busy. I may be an empty nester, but it still feels like I’m entertaining kids!

    1. Wow — that’s hilarious! You are far more organized about it than I am — especially with the honey-do list. Mine does the around the house things on auto-pilot, so I don’t have to make that list, but the items are more like getting cars washed and doing laundry. Have a great weekend!

  3. Totally worth the wait! I can’t wait to try out this recipe . . . but only after the hubbub of the holiday is over. I have a list to finish after all.

  4. As a former native San Diegan, your lovely summer list floods my heart with memories and a longing for home. Here in the south it’s just us, (me & the husband) and I must admit I too, feel awkward having no celebratory plans. I don’t really know anyone here. I plan on keeping myself busy and occupied with new recipes in the kitchen, and I might borrow your photowalk suggestion; as I’ve lost my camera eye somewhere – lost in the translation between our California roots and our new southern way of life. I miss the Del Mar Fair, the Roberto’s taco stand in Carmel Valley that overlooks the lagoon, the Sunday La Jolla Farmer’s Market, walking the PB Boardwalk and the Bayside Walk, In ‘N Out Burger and shopping at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Vons.

    {Your flickr contact LC}

  5. Being the most uninventive 24 year old ever, my plans consist entirely of sitting in my parents’ backyard. And eating whatever food/cake that I make. Are those really plans? I guess it depends on who you ask.

    The real question is when i plan to make this smoothie pie…it looks like the perfect amount of icy cold dessert heaven and fruitaliciousness.

    1. I think a plan is a plan if the owner wants it to be a plan. Or not. Haha! Sounds good to me. Hope toy had a great holiday weekend with much relaxing time logged.

  6. u know how to party right. what’s the big bro hahaha about anyway? the gov’t spends so much money in putting together a visual show that will cause some to go deaf. but if ur making and eating treats like this, I’m not mad at all! I looooooooooooooove it all. the napkins, the plate with the stars the flowers and oh yeah, the pie! Swoon. Okay, I know my looooooooooooooove was over the top, but this is the prettiest post I’ve seen today! 🙂 xo.

    1. Thanks, Bren :). Not too sure who pays for all the fireworks shows around here, but they’re nothing like what I’m sure DC sees. This pie is a nice diversion from a bowl of ice cream with topping. We loved it — especially the crust. Nice salty crunch! Have a great holiday!

  7. Wow. I dont think ive ever seen a crust made out of pretzels before! This looks like such a perfect summer dessert, so inventive and SO delicious. Very happy to have stumbled over your blog indeed, it really is gorgeous 🙂

  8. How absoooolutely perrrfect for summer. I’ve made a similar crust, but not with brown sugar. I can’t wait to try the brown sugar. And your pics are gorgeous (as ever). Hope your summer is going great..

  9. Not sure what you finally decided upon but the cake looks great. Hope you had a great weekend, with or without plans.

  10. Kelly, Kelly, Kelly..Happy belated 4th of July to you!! What a fantastic post (not that all of yours aren’t….my reader doesn’t work..and I have to go through my blogroll lol). In any your tips on making your own 4th of July fun. Wanna know what I did? I made candy all day (BF is in Europe until Sunday). I just wasn’t into it. However, did go see the fireworks over Lady Liberty later on with a friend.

    This ice cream smoothie pie is gorgeous and genius, and your photos just get more and more spectacular! I just bought a tripod, so hopefully it’ll help a little. Wish they sold natural light! 😛

    1. Hey Lis! I’m thinking that being able to see fireworks over Lady Liberty is one of my bucket list items. Pretty amazing! And you’ll snicker, but I never read anything in my reader. I subscribe, but I like the good ol’ blog hopping thing. I always have. Go figure, right? Thanks for the feedback, and have fun with your tripod. It does make a difference (like I doubted that?) Still have to do something about my lens, though. It’s pretty heavy, and if I want to do any kind of an above shot, I have to hold the camera myself, or the lens slides out to zoom. Hilarious, but not.

  11. Happy bday to your son. My girls are 10&6 and I am dreading them leaving. Your list had me longing to take a road trip, yummy pie..I love the pretzel crust. Thank you for sharing.
    have a great week

    1. You’ve got lots of time with your girls yet. We moved to our current home when my son was 10, and it seems an eternity ago. Enjoy the time, have lots of fun, take even more photos, and don’t worry about it! Try the pretzel crust. So good 🙂

  12. Happy belated birthday to your son and a happy belated 4th of July. Your pie sounds fantastic! Perfect for the hot summer days. Also, I think the idea of a pretzel crust sounds genius. GENIUS.

    Gorgeous photos, as usual. And I’m sort of in love with the idea of a nectarine caramel.

    1. Thanks! Much appreciated :). The pretzel crust is pretty darn good. There are lots of variations out there, so I can’t take credit for the genius. The nectarine and caramel is completely wonderful. Definitely something to play with!

  13. The pie looks delicious! Don’t worry, we didn’t have plans either – we were going to see fireworks, but actually decided that staying home, lounging with the dogs was way more fun than fighting the crowds for parking spaces and roasting in the heat!

  14. This sounds amazing! And we didn’t have any big plans either…and ended up watching fireworks at the huge baptist church down the street from our back porch…while drinking lots of wine. It was glorious. 😀

    1. Funny, but our weekend ended up being fairly busy after all. It figures! I guess that’s why making a list isn’t always necessary, right? Missed the fireworks myself this year and just listened to them from our house. It was surprisingly pleasant.

  15. you’re a hoot and a half, kelly. this is a great treat, and not just because of that awesome and underrated pretzel crust. nice work!

  16. WTG, making your own party! I like the list.

    So now I have a question about sailboats in SD – is it easy to rent one for a last-minute weekend trip? (Because we’d be all over that idea.)

    If you have pointers on building a backyard patio, I’d love to hear about that, too. Especially if it can fire a pizza!


    1. Hi Kim — Great to hear from you. We recently rented a sailboat comfortable for 4 to sail on Mission Bay (the small bay) from The Bahia. The Catamaran also rents. I’d say check with the hotels on San Diego Bay as well. I doubt you’ll have trouble. As much as I’d love to tell you about building an outdoor pizza oven (I’d LOVE one) our patio won’t have that.

  17. I hope we find our back home again. We kept our SD home {good renters, knock wood} but… husband isn’t too keen on us retiring there. It’s a major issue, and it sucks. The high tax base, California is mis-managed and over-regulated, it’s not business friendly, the traffic, blah blah blah……all I see is the beauty and the beach.

Comments are closed.