Friday, December 28, 2018


When I attended college (in another millennium) my dorm had a great kitchen, with some memorable dishes (and a few I’d rather forget). One of the most popular was peppermint ice-cream pie. It rarely appeared on the cafeteria menu, and the following day people would line up well before the kitchen opened for lunch, hoping there were a few leftover pieces.

My daughter is here visiting for Christmas, and together we watched a cooking show I’d never heard of, much less watched (we think it was the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship). In one segment each contestant made multiple pies, and for one of the pies, one cook used a chocolate pie crust.

I’d never seen one or even heard of one, but it was lovely to look at, dark and shiny. While the college pie used a chocolate crumb crust, I thought this traditional pie crust looked much more elegant. Why not try it?

Peppermint Pie



1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tblsp vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1 large egg yolk
2-3 Tblsp ice water


In a food processor, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt and blend. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture looks like large crumbs (a few seconds).

Add the egg yolk and ice water and pulse until the dough forms a ball.

Press the dough into a ball and flatten into a round disk about 1/4 inch thick. Roll it out on a lightly floured board (working out from the center of the disk).

Lightly oil your pie pan (I used my mother’s vintage Pyrex pan). Press the dough into it, then trim the edges and make a decorative edge.

Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake in a 425-degree preheated oven until the crust is lightly browned (if you can tell, with a chocolate-colored dough!), about 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool, because . . . You’re going to fill it with ice cream!


You’d be surprised how many different recipes there are available for this pie filling. Some involve gelatin and/or heavy cream, or white chocolate, or crushed peppermint candies.

I took the easy way out: I bought peppermint ice cream. Many of the recipes using ice cream seem to end up with a pink variety, but I found one that’s white with red and green minty bits—a perfect idea for the holiday season.

So, let your ice cream sit out until it’s soft enough to spread in the crust (don’t let it melt!). Spoon it into your now-cool pie crust and smooth out the top. Then put in the freezer to let it harden again (for several hours, or even overnight).

When it’s closer to time to serve, retrieve the pie and decorate it with piped whipped cream (you can add a dash of peppermint extract to the cream if you want) and add some peppermint candies or candy canes. Then it goes back into the freezer until it’s time for dessert. 

And now I’m dreaming up other combinations to try out with that lovely chocolate crust. Marzipan, maybe? A white chocolate filling? Endless possibilities!



  1. It has been ages since I have had peppermint ice cream! I normally only find it at Christmas time. I do like mint chocolate chip ice cream and it would probably work in this pie crust. It may be on my New Year's menu!

  2. I never thought of a chocolate crust.

  3. I love peppermint ice cream--this looks heavenly!

  4. If you can buy good peppermint ice cream why make it?!
    I think a sprinkling of chocolate shavings would be nice on top.
    The idea of a chocolate crust is intriguing.
    Lucky you to have had a college cafeteria that served edible food. We had contests trying to guess what was being served. It usually looked like mystery meat with grey gravy.

  5. It will likely be easier to make this pie with ready made peppermint ice cream, but I do have a largish pile of leftover candy canes to consider. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Perhaps crush a bunch and mix them into softened vanilla ice cream?