Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cream

The ice cream maker...my nemesis.

I loved you so much the day I brought you home. You were hiny and new and smelled good...then I began to loath you as one recipe failed. Then, another. And another. I spent so much money in hopes that I would win you over. Finally, I gave up on you. I stored you in the back of the cabinet, out of sight and out of mind. I forgot about you and all of the embarrassment you laid on me. I forgot your smell and your newness and the hum of your motor.

Then one day, I made a joke to my niece who *hates* pumpkin everything, and said "hmmm...I'm going to make some pumpkin ice cream to go with our pumpkin pie." Why would say such a thing when all you have done over the course of 5 years is fail me? I think it's because I'm a persistent bitch. And, I really want to make a successful ice cream!

On Wednesday, November 23, 2011, I cracked your code and your ice cold heart!

That's right!!! Ice cream SUCCESS!

I promptly threw out your little "recipe book" that does not have one single recipe that tells me to make an ice cream base with eggs. That truly is the secret.

So, now that I'm onto you and your trickiness, I can welcome you back into the family. Instead of the back of the cabinet, you now take center stage next to the blender and food processor. Welcome home, ice cream maker.


1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
the seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
5 grates of fresh nutmeg

In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, approximately 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg. Add the remaining cream and brown sugar. Whisk until the sugar begins to dissolve and the mixture becomes creamy.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat and temper your egg mixture. (Seriously - click on the link to learn how to "temper" your eggs - or else you will make scrambled egg ice cream, and that can't be tasty.) Transfer tempered mixture into the heavy saucepan and cook over medium hear, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon. Not not allow the custard to boil! Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and place the bowl into an ice bath, stirring occasionally to cool. Whisk the chilled pumpkin mixture into your ice cream base. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard, so you don't make a "skin." Chill for 3-24 hours.

After chilling, transfer to your ice cream maker and churn per the manufacturer's instructions. (I have to completely freeze my maker's bowl prior to churning, so there is definitely some plan-ahead activities to be aware of.) Transfer your ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm. Scoop and serve!

Our Thanksgiving dessert was pumpk'tastic! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced ice cream and a little drizzle of homemade Carmel sauce. Funny thing is, I didn't taste much pumpkin in the ice cream - just the essence of it, which is fine by me. The ice cream was surprisingly smooth and VERY rich, so one scoop really went a long way. My niece did try a small spoonful, but was not impressed. Oh well. I was! And really, all that matters is that the whole experiment didn't crash and burn.

Pumpkin spiced ice cream is so freaking good!!!

For those looking to make plain vanilla ice cream, I italicized the base ingredients. The recipe itself is pretty easy to decifer. If you'd like to add in something special, prior to churning, throw in whatever you'd like: fresh strawberries, chocolate chips, crushed cookies, etc.