For me, there’s no more decadent combination on earth than a fresh pie made with sweet summer fruit and topped with cold—but quickly melting—ice cream. My affinity for the pairing is tied to that classic New England duo of blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream. As a kid, my family spent a few weeks every summer in Swan’s Island off the Maine coast, where blueberries grow thicker than grass. After my sister and I spent all day picking buckets of berries, my mom would make a wild blueberry pie—always served up with a generous scoop of vanilla for each slice. As the ice cream melted, it mixed with the sweet berry filling and softened the buttery, flaky pie dough just enough to transform the whole thing into something much greater than the sum of its individual components.
When it comes to topping pie, vanilla is—and should be—your go-to, as its creamy flavor complements most fruits and baked goods. But there’s so much more to discover when you start pairing your pies with flavored ice creams. Here are 14 bold pie and ice cream pairings, from a strawberry lattice-top with basil gelato to a rich raspberry pie brightened by a scoop of creamy peach: