Seeking the perfect ice cream choice for Thanksgiving pie!

I’m bringing the dessert for Thanksgiving (using this crust advice + the 2012 winning Bucktown Apple Pie filling), so of course I want the à la mode to be extra special. Even so, I stop short at the challenge of homemade ice cream. The holidays are stressful enough, amiright?

There are many well-known ice cream choices available at Jewell (or, if you get it delivered, Schwan’s), but I think it’s worth exploring less familiar and better quality brands to top the pie masterpiece!

Apple Pie A La Mode

Testing my apple pie endurance at Margie’s.

Though they don’t sell ice cream to go, I popped in to Margie’s Candies (1960 N Western Ave) for “inspiration.” I’m that dedicated! Amid the sundaes and platters of mega-desserts, is the daily pie à la mode. Theirs comes plated with mounds of whipped cream and a cherry on top, which isn’t nearly as thoughtful as the up-turned plate that held in the slowly melting vanilla ice cream. I give them points for ice cream and presentation, though I will stick to cones from Margie’s on future visits.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Enjoy a dynamic duo of Jeni’s Pistachio & Brambleberry Crisp.

I also stopped at Jeni’s (3404 N. Southport Avenue) to sample. I tried several flavors, including Pistachio (my perennial fav), signature flavors like BrambleBerry Crisp and Vanilla Bean, and even Black Coffee in a quest to find the ideal ingredient for “pie soup.” While I enjoyed the rich, creamy mouthfeel of these ice creams, they all tasted too salty to make a proper pairing. My search continued…

Graeter's Ice Creams

It was hard to select from Graeter’s fall flavors.

The fine folks at Graeter’s (available at Whole Foods) approached me with a chance to try their new fall selection, and like a ice cream-crazed fool I said yes without realizing how many flavors that would be. Of course they’re all good. However, I narrowed it down to Salted Caramel and Cinnamon. I think either would pair well with apple pie, though I’m leaning towards Cinnamon. And maybe I’ll bring Pumpkin for a matchy-matchy pairing with traditional pumpkin pie. The rest will await proper pie occasions.

I still have a few days to try frozen delicacies and bake a test pie, though I probably need to reign it in if I don’t want to waddle to Thanksgiving dinner. How are you topping your Thanksgiving dessert? Share!

  1. Rachel "Chewables Chicago" left a comment on November 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Yum! Graeter’s, from my hometown of Cincy, is the BEST (imho, of course)! Their fall flavors are great, but nothing goes better on pumpkin pie than their good, old fashioned “plain” vanilla. For more info, here’s a blog post I did:’s-ice-cream/

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