Frozen Root Beer Float Pie - Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day! I've been wanting to make this pie for years now.  Since I'm the type of person who loves to mix the ice cream into the root beer until you get a frosty like consistency, that was my aim for this pie.  It's a frosty, frozen root beer float in a pie shell.  But for those that like a little vanilla ice cream left in their float, I folded in some ice cream balls as well!
My youngest is not a big fan of pie.  Well, she wasn't until now!  Apparently this is the type of pie to win her over and become the requested birthday dessert.  I call that a smashing success.  If you are a fan of frosties and floats and mixing your root beer and ice cream, you should love this pie.
Frozen Root Beer Float Pie
serves 12-14
1¾ cups graham cracker crumbs (about one sleeve plus 4 full graham crackers)
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
7 tbsp butter, (melted) add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
1½ cups root beer, divided 
1.5 qt vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1 pt heavy whipping cream, divided
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp root beer extract (optional)
I used root beer float Mike & Ikes for garnish but they get too hard when cold, so I recommend a different garnish or omit them.

In a food processor, pulverize graham crackers to fine crumbs.  Pulse in the brown sugar until no lumps remain.  Add melted butter and pulse until mixture is evenly moistened.  Press the mixture firmly across the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie pan or a 9" springform pan.  (The springform will be easier to cut slices.)  Place in the freezer to chill.
In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup of the root beer for about 10-15 minutes until reduced by half.  (You will have ½ cup left.  Place the reduced liquid in the refrigerator to cool.
Place a bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Set out a glass of warm water.  Take out slightly softened vanilla ice cream and use a small melon baller to scoop out mini scoops of ice cream, placing them into the chilled bowl.  Dip the melon baller into the warm water in between scoops to prevent sticking.  Once you have about 2 dozen or so, cover with wrap and place in freezer.

Once root beer syrup has chilled, combine it with the remaining softened ice cream and the remaining root beer.  Stir with a wooden spoon until a creamy mixture is achieved, like a frosty.  

Cover and place the root beer frosty in the freezer for two hours, stirring every 30 minutes, until thickened enough to pile up.  Whip 1 cup of the cream with 2 tbsp of powdered sugar and the extract, just to stiff peaks.  Don't let it get grainy.  Fold into the ice cream mixture.  Then fold in the reserved ice cream balls and pile the mixture into the graham crust.  Place in the freezer to chill while whipping the remaining cup of cream with 1 tbsp powdered sugar, just to stiff peaks.  Pipe rosettes around the edge of the pie.  Garnish with candies if desired but remove before eating to protect teeth.

Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight until frozen firm.

Let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before slicing to serve.  Rinse and wipe knife between cuts to aid in clean slices.  Store covered in the freezer for up to a week.


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