2 pies and a sherbet: simple, refreshing cold treats that get me through the hottest summer days

"Any one of these no-fuss desserts can be whipped up in a matter of minutes . . ."

By Bibi Hutchings


Published June 15, 2023 2:30PM (EDT)

Spoons of sherbet (Getty Images/msheldrake)
Spoons of sherbet (Getty Images/msheldrake)

In "Bibi's Gulf Coast Kitchen," columnist Bibi Hutchings takes you on a culinary journey across the coastal south. Come for the great food writing, stay for the delicious recipes.

With temperatures and heat indexes soon to be in the triple digits (at least where I live), these cold, fruity desserts will quench your sweet tooth and cool you off. Any one of these no-fuss desserts can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and their fresh flavors are just right for the season.  

Although I love summer, the heat gets to me; each year I find myself wondering, ". . . was it this hot this early last year?"  (Yes, it was.) I can already feel my enthusiasm waning for getting things done outside and we have had only our first taste of summer temperatures this week along the Alabama gulf coast. 

I think this time of year is best suited for lounging — whether poolside or at the beach, by the bay or along a creek or lake — essentially any place cool and breezy, where you can get away from work and be comfortable. Although these days, lounging in bed doing a Sudoku after an afternoon nap sounds almost as wonderful as winning the lottery. Until I get used to the heat, it's pretty much my fantasy and wish to stay indoors in the air conditioning until closer to sundown.  

These desserts have been with me for as long as I can remember and although I make them other times of the year, they really are perfect for when it is hot outside. They are each a part of what summer tastes like to me. They remind me of slipping away to spend long, languorous days at the beach or on the dock reading and being lulled almost to a slumber by the sound of waves coming to shore. No stress of exams or deadlines, no worry about aging loved ones, no concerns about work or children — that was summer for me for so many years of my life.      

I think of Millionaire Pie as my mom's because she is who made it popular in my family, but it was my great aunt, Aunt Ruth, who brought this pie into our lives. I remember loving it the first time I tasted it, having had nothing like it before. But my mind was blown when I made it with my mother, who explained to me how the lemon juice "cooks" it and thickens it up while it cools in the refrigerator. It is a pie to make all year round, but summer is the perfect time to try it.

Frozen Limeade Pie is a two ingredient pie — three, if you count the pie crust. It has a punchy lime flavor and because it is made with yogurt rather than milk, cream or condensed milk, it is my go-to when I need something sans traditional dairy. I have made it over the years using goat's milk, sheep's milk and every sort of plant milk yogurt known to humanity without missing a beat. It is the easiest thing in the world to throw together: It's light and refreshing and like Millionaire Pie, you will be sharing the recipe with all who try it.    

Fruity Sherbet, I have no doubt, will become a favorite. You don't need an ice cream maker — just some time in your freezer. It too is easy to make and will delight every palate. I share the original recipe here, but I reduce the sugar by about half or to taste when I make it. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking before freezing.        

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My summer days aren't as carefree, relaxed or as slow paced as the summer days of my youth, but the heat does slow my husband and me down . . . a little bit, anyway. The sun shines longer, our schedules are more flexible and we tend to end our days later than we do the rest of the year. Most evenings we opt for a light and simple supper then move onto the porch for a cold dessert once the heat of the day has diminished. Sitting in big rockers underneath fans, we talk, but mostly we listen to the humming, clicking and hooting of nighttime creatures that come alive once the sun fully sets. We watch the reflection of the moon glistening on the water and lightening bugs darting through the pines, oaks and magnolias with childlike exuberance while enjoying a piece of pie or a dish of sherbet or ice cream. 

Sometimes I have to remind myself of how good life really is and these familiar, comforting desserts — along with porch sitting, star gazing and being immersed in nature, with my feet in the sand or the grass — do that for me. Like most folks, I get caught up in worrying and fretting about things I can't control or change, but these summer flavors (and this Millionaire Pie in particular), which I have shared with the people I loved most in this world, bring me back to what is important: Slowing down, spending time with the people, pets and creatures you love and enjoying the place you live.

I hope you carve out time this summer to waste a day or two, to give in to the heat and let it drain away your energy, so much so that you can't worry or fret. Soak in the beauty of the season, stay out of the kitchen as much as you can and treat yourself to one of these delicious, cold desserts.    

Frozen Limeade Pie
8 servings
Prep Time
5 minutes (plus 1 to 2 hours freezing time)


1 qt. vanilla yogurt, full-fat preferably

1/2 small can frozen limeade, mostly thawed but still very cold

1 graham cracker crust



  1. Using an electric mixer, combine yogurt and limeade thoroughly.

  2. Pour into crust and and freeze.

Aunt Ruth's Millionaire Pie
8 servings
Prep Time
10 minutes (plus 2 hours cooling time)


1 medium can sliced peaches, drained

1 medium can crushed pineapple, drained

1 bowl Cool-Whip

1 can Eagle brand condensed milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 pre-baked, deep-dish piecrust



  1. Cut peaches into bite-size pieces.

  2. Stir all ingredients together, adding lemon juice last.

  3. Pre-bake piecrust according to package directions, then pour mixture into crust and allow to cool in refrigerator.

Fruity Sherbet
10 servings
Prep Time
15 minutes (plus 2 to 3 hours freezing time)


2 ripe bananas

2 cups sugar

Juice from 6 lemons

2 oranges

1 small jar maraschino cherries

1 small can crushed pineapple

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 gallon whole milk



  1. Mash bananas with the sugar, then add the fresh lemon juice.

  2. Add the juice from the oranges along with the pulp, using a spoon or grapefruit spoon to scrape and add all the pulp.

  3. Pour in the juice from the jar of cherries, then chop cherries and add them too.

  4. Add pineapple and its juice.

  5. Put in freezer and freeze until you have a soft "mush."

  6. Mix whipping cream and milk, then add to frozen mush and continue to freeze until firm.

Cook's Notes

-I use less sugar, but you can taste and adjust to your liking before freezing.

-If you double this recipe, double all but the lemons. For a double batch, use 9 lemons.

By Bibi Hutchings

Bibi Hutchings, a lifelong Southerner, lives along a quiet coastal Alabama bay with her cat, Zulu, and husband, Tom. She writes about the magical way food evokes memories, instantly bringing you back to the people, places and experiences of your life. Her stories take you all around the South and are accompanied with tried-and-true recipes that are destined to become a part of your memory-making as you share them with your friends and family.         

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Cooking Food Frozen Foods Homemade Pies Sherbet Summer