Pumpkin Ice Cream

In lieu of pumpkin spice season, I decided that  a recipe like this one was overdue.  Yes you are thinking, why make ice cream when you can just go and buy some for a couple bucks in the supermarket—let alone make ice cream in the winter?
Well, first of all this ice cream tastes amazing and worth the work.

When you walk into the supermarket, you are hit with these bright fluorescent lights and an overwhelming amount of choices to make.  Walking down the dairy aisle, you must choose whether you want 2%,1%, whole, skim, almond, cashew, and countless types of milk (not to mention the brand you want). You purchase the milk for a few dollars or so and take it home all within the span of an hour.  This is something that has become a mindless action.  Do you ever stop to think where that carton of milk came from? Obviously, it was not always on that  refrigerator shelf.  The same goes for any other product in the store, including ice cream.  Your favorite treat was part of a large batch in a factory, and  packaged to be shipped to your supermarket  joining the countless other brands and flavors sitting on that shelf.   Of course, this is super convenient, and saves  a bunch of time, however there is less meaning in what you are consuming.  When you create something on your own, there is more pride and value in the product of your efforts.  The reason I love cooking is because the plate is a canvas for creativity and it provides the opportunity to experience food in a more fun way.  So, maybe just stop for a second before reaching for that carton of ice cream in that familiar supermarket situation.  Unless you know someone who has a cow, I don’t recommend doing the same with milk.

Anyways, making your own ice cream gives you a lot of freedom and obviously control as to what you put in it.  Most of the time, supermarket ice cream has ingredients like corn syrup and guar gum which is gross.  One day, as I was chowing down on some ice cream, I noticed that nowhere on the container did it say exactly what it was, which makes me suspicious. All this dessert is supposed to have is heavy cream, sugar, eggs, milk, flavoring—no BS.


1 1/2 cups (375ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (95g) granulated sugar
big pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (180g) fresh or canned 100% pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup packed (60g) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
a few turns of ground black pepper
optional: 2 teaspoons whiskey or brandy
1. Make an ice bath by putting some ice and a bit of water in a large bowl and nest a medium-sized metal bowl (one that will hold at least 2 quarts, 2l) inside it. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, granulated sugar, and salt. Whisk together the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
3. Whisk about half of the warm milk into the yolks, stirring constantly (this process is called tempering, which is done so that the eggs don’t scramble).
5. Scrape the warmed yolks back in to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
6. Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the heavy cream, in the bowl nested in the ice bath. Stir for a few minutes until it’s cool, then puree the custard in a blender with the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and whiskey or brandy, if using. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.
7. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Tired of Pumpkin Pie? For a creative alternative, sandwich a scoop of this ice cream between two graham crackers, smooth edges, and freeze to set.  This recipe is perfect on its own and great for your thanksgiving celebration.  Remember, if you have an ice cream maker that needs to sit in the freezer before use, plan ahead of time, so that it is ready.
DSC_0616 (1)
How I served the ice-cream at my Thanksgiving: “deconstructed pumpkin pie”.  For the record, my family made fun of this.

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