Apple pie ice cream will bring a little taste of fall to any time of year! This vegan ice cream is super easy to make in the Ninja Creami Ice Cream Maker. Made with canned apple pie filling, a little spice, and Ritz Crackers to lend an authentic apple pie flavor, this dairy-free ice cream is sure to please.
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Yes, there is nothing like a warm slice of apple pie a la mode with a scoop of (vegan) vanilla ice cream on top. Well, almost nothing like it. It’s almost July, yet I still crave the fall flavors – without the heat of course! Apple pie ice cream is appropriate for any time of the year and will bring back all the good feelings of crisp mornings and crunchy leaves.
I’ve been obsessed with my Ninja Creami lately! There is nothing like a Ninja Creami for rich and creamy vegan ice cream recipes. I had heard that you could actually process a can of pie filling in the Ninja and still get ice cream-like results.
Well, I had to try it for myself. My Ninja Creami did not disappoint! This apple pie “ice cream” is made dairy-free. You won’t even find any plant-based dairy substitutes. Yet it is still creamy and smooth just as you’d expect ice cream to be!
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Ingredients needed to make the best dairy-free apple pie ice cream
You won’t believe the simple ingredients you’ll need to make this rich and creamy apple pie frozen dessert!
- apple pie filling – A 21-ounce can of apple pie filling is just the right amount to use. The brand I purchased advertised “extra fruit” and it was just perfect. Make sure that you don’t “cheap out” on this one. The quality of the apple pie filling you use will directly affect the flavor of the ice cream. If you don’t like how it tastes before freezing it then you certainly won’t like the taste after freezing. In fact, freezing takes away some of the sweetness and flavor.
- vanilla extract
- apple pie spice – I have not found apple pie spice at my grocery store, though it is becoming more mainstream. It will probably be more available in the fall. You can always use pumpkin pie spice. Or make your own with this recipe for apple pie spice from The Blond Cook.
- Ritz Crackers – And yes, Ritz crackers are “accidentally vegan”. The salty Ritz crackers add that pie crust texture and flavor. we don’t add the crackers to the ice cream mixture and freeze, but rather at the end of processing as a mix-in. See Step 3 below.
- And of course, for this recipe, you are going to need a Ninja Creami Ice Cream Machine.
How to make Apple Pie Ice Cream in the Ninja Creami
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
Step 1: Mix the ingredients
It’s so easy – just open the can and add the apple pie filling, vanilla extract, and apple pie spice directly to a Ninji pint freezer container. Stir everything together. You want to ensure you don’t go over the max level mark. It shouldn’t be a problem if you use the correct size of can.
Ninja suggests that most fruits be blended or cut down first. I did not find that necessary for this recipe. I think that because the apples are cooked and the sugar content is so high that the fruit will not freeze too hard and cause problems for your Ninja Creami device.
The only exception to this is if the large chunks of fruit are poking out above the max fill line. Cut the fruit down or mash it slightly so that everything fits.
Step 2: Freeze
This is honestly the most challenging step when using a Ninja Creami. You have to be patient and let the ingredients freeze for 24 hours!
With a regular ice cream maker, you might need to cool down the ingredients before processing, but the ice cream itself freezes during the processing. It is totally the opposite when processing with the Ninja. You freeze the ingredients first and then the Ninja processes and “creamifies” (not my word but Ninja’s haha).
Because I often have more than one pint container going in the freezer at a time, I place a piece of tape on the top of each lid and write the recipe name along with the date and time I placed it in the freezer.
Place the filled container in the freezer upright for 24 hours. And be patient!
Step 3: Process
Has it been 24 hours? Are you ready for tasty spiced apple pie ice cream?! Remove the pint container from the freezer and begin to process.
The first time you process using the Creami, you should watch the video recommended by Ninja. It will get easier the more you do it. Here is a recap:
- Remove the pint container from the freezer and remove the lid.
- Place the frozen pint container into the outer processing container or bowl that came with your device.
- Insert the blade/paddle device into the outer-bowl lid and lock the lid assembly.
- Place the bowl assembly onto the motor base pad. Make sure it is plugged in and twist it up until it locks.
- You will know it is locked because the lights will turn on when you press the on-switch. If you’ve not done it correctly then the “install” light will be flashing.
- Process this recipe using the “sorbet” setting. Remove from the device following the directions that came with your machine.
Adding the Ritz Crackers
Sometime before processing the apple pie ice cream, you need to crush the Ritz Crackers. I do this by placing them in a baggie and gently rolling over the crackers with a rolling pin. It’s okay if there are some larger chunks of cracker along with smaller pieces.
After the ice cream has been processed, remove it from the device and dig a little hole in the center of the ice cream. Add the crushed crackers to the center part, reinsert onto the device and process using the “mix-in” setting.
Can you use pie crust instead of the Ritz Crackers?
That might be interesting. If you have cooked (and cooled) pie crust, I think it would make a great add-in. But I would not crush the pieces. Use some large chunks of crust. I believe the mix-in process will break them down to the correct size. If anyone does this, please let me know.
What might go wrong?
I have never had it happen with this recipe because I think the high sugar content prevents over-freezing. But if, after processing, the top is dry and powdery. Or if there are little frozen balls of ice cream on top (kinda looks like Dipin’ Dots), it means that your freezer might be too cold.
Simply reinsert and process on “re-spin”. That should do the trick!
Serving suggestions and leftovers
I think sprinkles are always appropriate! You can also sprinkle with a little extra apple pie spice or Ritz. A drizzle of caramel sauce would be very delicious with this fun fall dessert and make it more of a “caramel apple ice cream” dessert. Yum!
The serving size is a one-half cup serving – which is pretty small. But this highly flavorful ice cream is pretty rich and you might only a small amount. If you have extra ice cream left over then smooth and even out the top and refreeze right in the Ninja pint container. If it is too hard and frozen to easily scoop out when you are ready for more then you just go through the same processing steps as you did the first time. It will be a little bit softer and the Ritz with be more blended in. That’s okay – still super yummy!
Hungry for more vegan ice cream, sorbets, and other frozen desserts? Try,
- Frozen Yogurt with Bananas
- Real Disney Dole Whip with the Ninja Creami
- Peach Sorbet
- Watermelon Sorbet
- Lemon Ice Cream with Coconut Milk
- Lemony Peach Popsicles
The printable recipe card for your homemade ice cream
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Vegan Apple Pie Ice Cream in the Ninja Creami
- NInja Creami
- 21 ounce apple pie filling see notes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon apple pie spice see notes
- 10 ritz crackers
- Add the apple pie filling, vanilla extract, and apple pie spice to a Ninji pint freezer container. (You will be saving the Ritz Cracker until after freezing and processing.) Stir together. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Put the lid on and place upright in a freezer for 24 hours.
- Before processing, place the Ritz Crackers into a baggie and roll with a rolling pin to make crumbs. Again, this doesn't have to be perfect.
- After 24 hours, remove the pint from the freezer and process according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Place the pint container into the larger processing container. Insert the paddle on the lid and lock the lid into place. Place the entire locked container onto the Ninja Creami Pad, Make sure it is plugged in and twist to put into place.
- Process on sorrbet. Give it a re-spin if it is still powdery and not creamy when processed.
- Make a hole down the middle of the frozen sorbet. Pour the crushed Ritz Crackers into the hole. Close the lid and lock everything into place again. Process on "mix-in".