A Triple Scoop for National Ice Cream Day

Lauding ice cream as “the perfect dessert and snack food,” Ronald Reagan signed a presidential proclamation in 1984 designating July as National Ice Cream Month and also creating National Ice Cream Day.

President Reagan called upon Americans “to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities,” and evidently we took him seriously. Back then, we spent about $3.5 billion annually on ice cream; today’s U.S. annual sales are over $12 billion. That’s about 14 percent of the $85 billion worldwide ice cream market.

In honor of this day – and as a patriotic nod to another president associated with the cherry tree – let’s make a cherry pie milkshake. In fact, let’s think big — let’s make three!

Cherry Pie Milkshake
Made with Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 4 oz. cold milk (or more, depending on desired consistency)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 4-5” miniature cherry pie, baked and cooled

Directions: In blender, combine ice cream, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Break cherry pie into pieces, pulse into the milkshake until pie gets incorporated. It’s fine to leave chunky pieces of fruit. Garnish with whipped cream.

Cherry Pie Milkshake
Made with Fresh or Frozen Cherries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup cold milk (for richer shake, use half & half)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pitted, fresh or frozen cherries
  • ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions: Blend ice cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Add pitted cherries. Pulse several times then add graham cracker crumbs. Garnish with chopped cherries, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings.

Cherry Pie Milkshake
Made with Cherry Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream or frozen vanilla yogurt
  • 4 oz. cold milk (or more, depending on desired consistency)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions: Blend ice cream, milk and vanilla extract. Add cherry pie filling and graham cracker crumbs and blend until smooth. Garnish with whipped cream. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over top.

Each of these recipes yields two large servings or four small servings. For the chocoholic, add ¼ cup chocolate syrup to any recipe and drizzle chocolate syrup over the top.

— Judi Bauer