The Unexpected Ice Cream Tip That Will Majorly Upgrade Your Apple Pie

The fall season is best known for pumpkin carvings, breezy weather, and cozying up to a mug of pumpkin spice latte while awaiting the holiday season. It's also a time to celebrate the bounty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as rutabagas, parsnips, grapes, and of course, apples, via the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Apples come in many varieties, hues, and flavors (and they're fun to pick at your local farm or orchard). McIntosh apples, for instance, have tangy and tart flavors and are often tinted with a streak of green colors throughout their bright red exterior. Granny smith apples, on the other hand, score high on the tartness scale and are one of the many types of apples to use in apple pies, per USApple.

And speaking of apple pies, these should probably be the mascot of desserts for the fall season. They highlight tender and spiced apples (like the varieties listed above) as well as a crispy crust and additional toppings like whipped cream. They're not only easy to make but also easy to "level up" with creative twists. Now, sure, you can opt for bourbon or salted caramel sauce within the pie, but what about adding something else in there? Something like ice cream?

Use ice cream as a marinade

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.