On a recent drive through central Texas in search of unknown barbecue finds, my friend and newbie food explorer Alison chimed in from the back seat as we drove through the small town of Smithville, Texas. "Hey, did you guys see that Dairy Queen sign back there? It said 'Pumpkin Pie Blizzard.'"
What? We were on a quest for meat and brisket and sausage and ribs and other such manly fare. We had no time for an ice cream dessert, even if Blizzards are a Texas tradition. We zipped out of Smithville and headed west to Lockhart. We had some decent barbecue there, but nothing new or unknown. On the way out of town, another Dairy Queen appeared by the side of the road, and it too had a sign advertising the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. We decided to stop and give it a try. Turns out it was the best find of the day.
A Pumpkin Pie Blizzard is best described as a traditional pumpkin pie mixed with ice cream and concentrated in a cup. This might sound suspect, but the flavor is the essence of the pumpkin pies we all grew up eating at Thanksgiving. In addition to pumpkin pie and ice cream, there are chunks of pie crust floating throughout, and the whole thing is topped by a blob of whipped cream and dusted with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Although there is no official recipe on the Dairy Queen website, Internet research yields a plausible ingredients list: Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix blended with Dairy Queen soft-serve vanilla ice cream, chunks of vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and nutmeg and other spices.
In Houston, the acquisition of a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard can be problematic. There are no Dairy Queens inside the loop, and this particular Blizzard is literally the flavor of the month and only available during October. You've got to drive to get it. The Dairy Queen website shows the closest location to be at 6707 Westview, near the Northwest Shopping Center. Not a bad drive if you want to sample one of the most decadent desserts of the Thanksgiving season.