11/02/2011 01:43 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Nilla Ice Cream Pie

In the Pantry Challenge video series, Lauren Braun Costello, a chef, author and food stylist, shows busy moms how to make tasty dishes using ingredients they already have in their pantries, solving their unique cooking challenges.

In this video, Lauren shows Aimee R., a busy mother of two and P.R. executive, how to turn her tub of ice cream into a dressed-up dessert that's easy enough for a baking novice to tackle. Using Nilla wafers, Lauren creates an ice cream pie crust composed of wafer crumbs (the wafers can be crushed in a plastic bag, using a rolling pin, or with a food processor for a finer texture), melted butter and sugar. She then pours the mixture into a pie dish, flattens it out with a spoon and users her fingers to level the crumbs and push them up onto the sides of the pie dish. This goes into the freezer for 10 minutes to harden -- no baking necessary!

Next, Lauren makes a simple caramel sauce, using butter, dark corn syrup (which is already the color of caramel) and brown sugar. She boils these ingredients (which will prevent the sugar and butter from separating), lowers the heat, and adds cream. Use caution during this step: The piping hot caramel will cause the cream to bubble and potentially splatter, so stand back. It is the cream that ensures this sauce will be fluid, and not hard like a chewy caramel candy. Finally, she adds vanilla extract, which complements the Nilla wafer flavor, and a pinch of salt, to balance out all these sugary sweet ingredients.

Once her crust has hardened, Lauren fills the pie dish with toffee ice cream (Aimee's choice -- but feel free to use your favorite flavor), tops it with even more toffee bar chunks, and then puts it in the freezer for at least six hours. Once the pie is firmly set, Lauren drizzles it with caramel sauce and serves the slices atop puddles of -- you guessed it -- more sauce.

Get the Recipe for Nilla Ice Cream Pie.