Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Ice Cream

I made pumpkin ice cream last year and never posted about it here, which was silly. Because ice cream with fresh roasted pumpkin puree, fall spices and crunchy walnuts feels homey like pumpkin pie. So here it is now. I like mine with walnuts, but not everyone does, so that's optional. I recommend roasting your own pumpkin rather than buying a can at the store, unless you like BPA in your food. Roasting a pumpkin is easy - you just cut it in half, stick it in the oven, take it out a while later and scoop out the puree. More on that over here. Plus you'll have extra pumpkin leftover for other baking and you can make roasted seeds for snacking.

According to my boyfriend, this ice cream was at its best the day after it was made - creamy with a subtle texture from the pumpkin flesh. But by the time I tried it a few days later, it had frozen too hard, similar to how my hand-churned ice cream comes out. Maybe the pumpkin puree affected the way the creaminess ratio held up in the freezer?

If you want to go extra fall, this ice cream makes an excellent ice cream sandwich inside my pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies.

With all the ice cream I've made since I originally posted my standard recipe last year, I've updated my recipe in a few ways. First, just use the whole two cups of heavy cream that come in a pint, because that's how cream is sold and it's silly to have a little cream leftover. Second, you don't need to get the cream-milk-sugar mixture that hot to dissolve in the sugar, which also means you don't need to wait as long before adding the eggs. Third, cooking it into custard can take upward of 20 minutes and is an imprecise science. Sometimes I'm not sure if it got thick enough so I just give up after a while and the ice cream still turns out fine.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream (1 pint)
1 cup milk (I use 2%)
2/3 cups sugar
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3 whole cloves
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Warm cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan and stir vigorously until sugar is nearly dissolved and just before steaming. Remove from heat and wait approximately 10 minutes to let cool. Whisk three egg yolks in a separate bowl. Slowly whisk half a cup of the milk mixture into the eggs, and then another half cup, to temper the eggs. Then, slowly whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan. Add spices. Cook over low heat for approximately 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until custard thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and let cool. Remove cloves. Transfer to an airtight container in fridge overnight to chill completely.

Prepare according to ice cream machine directions, or hand churn by putting container in freezer and removing to whisk every 30-90 minutes over the course of a few hours until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir in walnuts if you want. Scoop. Enjoy.

Apologies for the strage juxtoposition of iphone and DSLR photos.

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